It’s been a long while since I last posted. Life just took over! But I’ve missed blogging for a few reasons:
- it helps keep me writing
- I can document places I’ve been, food I’ve eaten and cooked, books I’ve read, thoughts I’ve had
- it’s a good space for reflection
So I’ll start up where I left off, with some food and some travels.
Thanksgiving 2014 has come and gone, but not without some great eating! One highlight of this past few days of cooking and eating was having Dungeness crab, Vietnamese style. (At least, I think it’s Vietnamese style – the recipe comes from my Vietnamese friend!) It’s Dungeness crab season in the Bay area, and I hope to take full advantage of it.
Having grown up in Maryland, I’m still partial to Maryland blue crabs; but I’m learning to love Dungeness crabs, too, which isn’t very hard!
We got two big crabs for $6.99/ pound at 99 Ranch, the big Chinese supermarket out here. And then we used this video to kill the crab as humanely as possible. One adjustment to this video was that we left the crabs in the freezer for more like 30-40 minutes. I think even an hour would have been better. This was another good supplemental video that was helpful.
So here’s the recipe from my friend that we used:
- 4 dungeness crabs = 6 pounds
- two fist size knobs of ginger
- two heads of garlic (small or medium size)
- two bunches of scallions
- 2-3 tsp fish sauce
- 2-3 tbsp sugar
- Crabs – take off the shell. Put the innards into a bowl (keep!!) Cut up the body part into halves or quarters. Keep all parts for cooking.
- Ginger – cut into 2 inch matchsticks
- Garlic – rough mince
- Scallions – 2 inch chop
- Use big pot (wide bottom is better) with a lid.
- Heat oil. Add garlic and ginger. Saute for a minute or two.
- Add crab pieces. Cook for a minute or two.
- Add fish sauce and sugar (may need to add more – taste the broth that develops from all the ingredients). Toss crab to coat with developing sauce.
- Add crab innards. Cook a few minutes, tossing if possible.
- Add scallions. Turn heat down to medium.
- Cover with lid. Check every so often, toss to makes sure all crab pieces get flavoring.
- Total cooking – 7-10 minutes, check that meat turns white. Don’t overcook!
We made the recipe with two crabs, and that would have been enough to feed three people, probably. Super simple and easy – the hardest was probably butchering the crab, but luckily I got someone else to do that (thanks, D!).
It’s good to have a filler to go with this since not everyone can eat enough crabs to fill themselves up, so I made some kimchee-bacon fried rice. I don’t really have a recipe for this, but I’ll write a narrative description here:
- Chop up well-fermented kimchee, bacon, and anything else you want to throw into the fried rice.
- Cook up the bacon to get it crisp.
- Add the chopped up kimchee with some kimchee juice and cook that up until the kimchee has wilted pretty well. Add some sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce for some extra flavor.
- Add day-old rice. Stir it all around.
- Add an egg or two and stir well.
Good post-Thanksgiving eats!