Stuffed Crab & Soft Pincer in Dill Crust
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Flower crabs, or blue crabs (not the same blue crabs as found in the Atlantic) are very popular in Vietnam. This dish combines a stuffing of fresh crab meat and pork to add a finer flavor the crab.
The recipe is from Hanoi-based Chef Didier Corlou, owner and chef behind La Verticale and the recently-opened Madame Hiên. Chef Corlou, born in Brittany and who first arrived in Vietnam in 1991, is a master of mixing combining French and Vietnamese ingredients and techniques.
- 4lb (2kg) fresh flower crab or other seasonal crab
- 1 3/4oz (50g) cellophane noodles
- 3 1/3oz (100 g) finely ground, slightly fatty pork
- 3 1/3oz(100 g) ginger
- 3 1/3oz (100g) fragrant mushrooms in julienne (60 + 40)
- 1 3/4oz (50 g) lotus seeds cooked in boiling water
- 3 1/3oz (100 g) tempura mix
- 1 tbsp chopped dill
- fish sauce (nước mắm)
- ground pepper
- arrowroot starch
- Wash the crabs, cook them in four pints (2l) of water and shell them. Keep 12 shells and six pincers.
- Mix the pork together with the crab meat, the ginger, 2 oz (60 g) of mushrooms and the lotus to make the stuffing, season with nước mắm and pepper.
- Peel and cut the ginger in julienne. Soak the fragrant mushrooms in tepid water for five minutes, then remove the stalks and cut in julienne.
- Fill the shells with the stuffing. Steam the stuffed crabs.
- Blend the chopped dill with the tempura mix. Dip the pincers in this batter, then fry them in hot oil. Pat dry on absorbent paper.
- Make a sauce with the crab cooking juice, add the remaining fragrant mushrooms. Season with nước mắm and pepper, thicken with the starch.
- To present: place two stuffed crabs and one fried pincer on a plate. Coat with the mushroom sauce. Serve hot with vegetables of your choice. And decorate with a sprig of dill.
Serving Size: 4-6
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Preparation Time: 30 minutes