Thai curry soft crabs

This is one of our favorite Thai dishes and one of our favorite soft crab preparations (and soft crabs are one of my favorite foods) so I’m looking forward to dinner time!  Here is the recipe:

Thai curry soft crabs

  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
  • 3 – 4 Kaffir lime leaves, inner vein removed and finely minced – you can find these frozen at Asian markets)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 – 2 TB chili paste (Nam Prik Pao – available at Asian markets)
  • 1 tsp ground dried roasted Thai chili peppers
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bunch basil chopped
  • 2 – 3 soft shell crabs per person, cleaned
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/s tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten and mixed with 1 TB water
  • vegetable or canola oil

Combine cumin, coriander, pepper and cinnamon stick in a dry pan and heat over medium heat, tossing about 3-4 minutes.  Flavors should combine and smell fantastic!  Cool and grind together with a mortar and pestle.

In a heavy pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute about 1 minute until just turning golden.  Add lemongrass, lime leaves, chili paste, turmeric and chili peppers.  Stir in ground spices.  Add coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar and fish sauce.  Stir and reduce heat while crabs cook.

Combine flour, salt, pepper and remaining cumin an a shallow plate or pan.  In another plate or pan, combine water and egg.  Dry soft shells and dip in egg, then flour mixture.  Heat 2 TB oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook crabs (top shell down first) until done – about 3 – 4 minutes a side.  (Cover pan with a lid, crabs will spatter!  I have a burn scar on my arm from spattering hot crab.)

Add cooked crabs to sauce mixture and toss so they are well coated with sauce.  (Keith has asked that I make sure there is plenty of sauce – he loves the sauce!)  Serve over rice.  Enjoy!

Because I love cooking Thai food, I bought a Kaffir lime tree off the Internet a few years ago.  It’s doing very well – we bring it in every winter and it looks terrible by April but once it gets back outside, it recovers.  I have a lemongrass plant that I bought at a local nursery – we bring it in in the winter and stick it in the basement.  It dies out and then recovers when it goes back outside.

Here is a picture – the Kaffir lime tree is on the left in the blue pot and the lemongrass on the right.

Growing our own Thai ingredients!

Growing our own Thai ingredients!


About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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