This is one of my husband favorite seafood dishes. He is a vegetarian but not as strict as he needs some meat protein, so he chose fish and seafood as his intake. Crab is one of this favorite seafood but he loves them shell-on. The only dish that cooks with shell-on he will eat will be the Singapore Peppered Crabs, a very well-known dish in South East Asia, like Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
In South & Southeast Asian countries crabs or crabmeats are easily available and not too expensive to purchase them but not like here. Anyway, you can still be able to get the lower grade crabmeats. I normally go to the Asian markets when I am in NYC and buy crabs and cook them at home and then pick all the flesh out and then bagged them well and freeze them for future use.
I made this stuffed crab and crab cakes last night to serve to my guest who is from Japan to enjoy this dish. It came out deliciously and I decide to make them for my reunion dinner during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
800g store-ready lump crab meat, removed cartilage and/or shells if any. Do not break up the lump crab meat
1¼ cups panko/any breadcrumbs of your desire brand
1/3 cup store-ready fried shallots/your own recipe
300g raw shrimp, deveined and shelled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
6 Kaffir lime leaves
1/3 inch thick piece galangal, coarsely chopped
2 stalks white part lemongrass, coarsely chopped
3 Green Thai chilies (Bird’s eye chilies)/green finger chilies
¾ cup coconut milk
1 ½ cups panko/any breadcrumbs of your desire brand for finishing
3 tablespoons canola/vegetable/corn oil for frying
Wedges of lime/lemon
In a food processor with garlic, lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass and green Thai chilies and grind until finely ground. Add the shrimps, coconut milk and process to a paste.
Transfer the shrimp mixture to the crabmeat and add ¾ cup panko, fried shallots and gently mix until well combined without breaking too much of the lump crabmeat. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the remaining panko in a deep dish and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Divide the crabmeat mixture into 15 even portions and stuff into a empty crab shell. Continue stuffing until all the crab shells are filled. Brush with melted butter or canola/vegetable/corn oil all over the top of the stuffed crab. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper. Transfer the completed stuff crabs onto a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with sweet chili sauce/Chinese mustard and lemon wedges
Divide the crabmeat mixture into 15 even portions and with your help of hand shape in a ball and then flatten it with your palms into a ¾ inch thick patty. Continue the same procedure till all the crabmeat mixture is all done. Transfer each crabmeat patty and coat with the panko all over the patty. Place in a large plate/baking sheet and cover with a saran wrap to prevent from drying.
Heat a heavy bottomed pan with a couple of canola/vegetable/corn oil over medium heat. Transfer each crabmeat patty onto the heated pan with some space in between each other. Pan-fry until the edges start to turn golden. Gently turn over without breaking the crabmeat patty. Pan-fry until the heat cook through the crabmeat and turn golden. Remove to a serving platter and garnish with wedges of lime or lemon.