Curried crabs and dumplings are a labour of love. Crab requires a lot of love and attention. Crab must be “gutted” and scrubbed thoroughly to ensure that the guts, dirt, barnacles and hair is removed. It’s the least pleasant part of the process but absolutely worth it. The dumplings on the other hand are quite simple but still require a loving hand to ensure a soft enjoyable texture.
So here’s my process from start to finish as best as I can explain…
6 blue crabs
10 garlic cloves
3 sprigs scallion
ginger (1inch piece)
1 medium onion
8 pimento peppers
4 sprigs of fine thyme
1 bundle (15-20 leaves) chadon beni (culantro)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp. oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp ground geera
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 can coconut milk
Clean crabs thoroughly or to your liking. Some people cook these crabs with the back on and eyes in so it is completely up to you. I posted a brief video of the beginning stages of our cleaning process above. Below is a video of the gunk and barnacles that we cleaned off
Kinda yucky right??!!! Now the cleaning process continues with a (brand new) toothbrush and some seriously vigorous scrubbing until it looks like this….(forgive the endless videos but cleaning crab is a big deal to me
Add 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar into this bowl as well and let the crab sit for 20 minutes or so. Give each crab a once over with the toothbrush again and rinse. Drain and place crabs in a clean bowl. Finely chop (use the electric chopper or processor) all of your garlic, onion, scallions, ginger, pimento and chadon beni. Put half of the herbs (seasoning) on the crab along with a tsp of salt, a tsp of curry powder and a tsp of geera. Combine and let sit for 35mins.
Set the rest of your seasoning aside and lets make some dumplings!!!
Put about 8 cups of water to boil. No need to add salt at this point.
Quick and easy! Combine flour, sugar and 3/4 cup water. Mix together until mixture forms into firm but soft ball. Line your counter with some aluminum foil, sprinkle some flour and flattened dough into a rectangle about 1/4″ thick using a rolling pin. Using a moist knife cut dough into bitesize squares. Once water is boiling place a few pieces of dough into the boiling water. Once the dumplings float they are cooked. Using a slotted spoon, remove cooked dumplings.
Once all the dumplings are cooked. Sauté 2 tsp of your freshly chopped seasoning in some oil/butter for about 2 mins. Add the cooked dumplings and toss them in the oil/butter mixture. At this point you can choose to add salt or not.
Now onto the curry!!
In a pot add 1tsp oil, 1 tsp tsp of your freshly chopped seasoning, sauté. Mix 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp geera and 1/3 cup water, add to pot and cook until the mixture becomes a paste.
At this point I add chili garlic sauce, 1/2 can coconut milk, turn the heat to medium and cover for 15 minutes.
Uncover, taste for salt and leave uncovered to allow sauce to thicken. At this point if you feel you need more coconut milk go ahead and add some more it will only make the sauce better. More pepper?? Why not, its your food, your belly!
Once the sauce is thick to your liking, remove from heat and make yourself a hearty plate of crab and dumpling!!!
Get some water or juice, napkins or paper towels and an extra plate for crab shells! Find a quiet space and dig in.