Growing up in the Philippines, my dad would catch a lot of crab, and this was my favorite dish he'd make with it. It's a cross between a sauce and a stew, curry-like in texture and rich with flavors of the sea; think coconut milk, fish sauce, and shrimp paste, cut with the sharpness of ginger and scallions. Enjoy with freshly steamed white rice.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
25 mins
cook:
45 mins
total:
1 hr 10 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop crabs in and cook until shells turn bright red, 8 to 10 minutes. Plunge crabs into ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.

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  • Heat a large wok over medium-high heat and add garlic oil. Stir in garlic and cook until lightly toasted and golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion and ginger and saute until onion is translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add scallion whites. Season with a few pinches of salt and pepper.

  • Add fish sauce and let infuse for 1 minute. Stir in shrimp paste and toast for about 3 minutes. Add Thai chiles; saute for 1 minute more. Pour in coconut milk and water. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes, adding more water if too dry.

  • Meanwhile, break open the crab. Add to the sauce along with any accumulated juices. Simmer until flavors meld, 8 to 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in spinach and let wilt. Garnish with scallion greens.

Chef's Note:

Crab can be substituted with kabocha squash, long beans, and shrimp.

Nutrition Facts

566 calories; protein 12.7g 25% DV; carbohydrates 19.3g 6% DV; fat 52.2g 80% DV; cholesterol 23mg 8% DV; sodium 308.9mg 12% DV. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (2)

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2 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2019
Full disclosure: I didn't make this but I ate it at a Filipino kamayan - a traditional feast where your only utensils are your hands. It was one of the most delicious seafood dishes I've ever had -- so fresh and fragrant from the coconut milk and ginger. Be sure to serve it with steamed rice to capture all that delectable sauce. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
06/07/2020
This is it. Read More
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