Yellow curry of mud crab
Prep 30 mins
Cook 20 mins
Serves 2 to 4
If you’ve never used a handheld blender to make a curry paste, try it and see how easy it is – it will revolutionise your cooking and you’ll never buy pre-made again. You can even prepare the paste a day or two ahead of time. The secret to its vibrant colour is the fresh red turmeric. Mud crab is a wonderful indulgence, but you could substitute fish, prawns, mussels or even a vegetable such as eggplant and still obtain a superb result. If you do use mud crab, ask your fishmonger to dispatch and clean it for you, as it can be a messy chore.
1 tbsp coconut oil
400 ml coconut milk
100 ml coconut cream
1 mud crab, cleaned, quartered and claws cracked
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
2 tbsp fish sauce, or to taste
2 tbsp light soft palm sugar, or to taste
1 tbsp tamarind purée, or to taste
Holy basil, steamed jasmine rice, lime cheeks, small orange chillies, thinly sliced, to serve
10 small dried red chillies, soaked in cold water (overnight)
4cm piece fresh red turmeric, scrubbed
2 lemongrass stalks, white part only coarsely chopped
4cm piece galangal, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
3 red shallots, coarsely chopped
2 heaped tsp shrimp paste
1. For curry paste, combine ingredients in a jug and blend with a hand held blender until a smooth purée, adding a little chilli soaking water of necessary to help blend.
2. Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat, add curry paste and stir to combine until aromatic and lightly roasted (1 to 2 minutes). Add coconut milk and cream and stir, bringing to a simmer. Add crab, cover and simmer, turning occasionally over medium heat until crab is cooked through (6 to 8 minutes; if curry is too thick, add a splash of water to thin out slightly until the crab is cooked). Add lime leaves and season with fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind to taste.
3. Serve crab curry, scattered with holy basil leaves and orange chilli, with rice and extra lime on the side.
Recipe and image by Eatable.