If you’ve ever had the chance to have a seafood meal on any of the beautiful beaches in Asia, you’ll likely have encountered some version of these Tamarind Crabs. This easy crab recipe embodies everything I love about Southeast Asian cuisine- it’s pungent, it’s garlicky, it’s tangy and sweet all in one. The balance of flavors is incredible. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. If you have crab lovers in your circle of family and friends, Tamarind Crabs will make them fall in love with your cooking.
2-3 lbs crab (mixture of legs, claws, etc.)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 cloves garlic finely minced
2 large shallots, finely minced
2 scallions, finely chopped
6 kafir lime leaves (substitute 1 heaping tablespoon grated lime peel)
2 cups tamarind concentrate/paste
7 tablespoons fish sauce
1 cup dark brown sugar (substitute regular sugar)
In a large wok, heat the oil on high heat. Add the minced garlic, shallots, scallions and lime leaves; stir-fry for about 2 minutes until lightly golden and fragrant.
Add the crabs, tamarind paste, fish sauce and sugar. Toss together gently until thoroughly mixed. Lower the heat to medium and cover the wok. Allow the crabs to steam for about 5 minutes before tossing over once again. Cover and steam for another 5 minutes. Repeat this several times for a total cooking time of 25 minutes or so until the crabs turn a deep completely pink-orange.