Thai Crab Curry Recipe

thai crab curry in pan
Thai crab curry in pan. Getty/Norman Hollands Photolibrary
  • 35 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 main course servings

This Thai Crab Curry recipe is a fragrant, exotic way to celebrate Dungeness or blue crabs. It requires a few exotic ingredients, but they easily can  be found in an Asian market. The one thing you cannot substitute or omit, however, is coconut milk (not to be confused with cream of coconut).

This recipe serves 4-6 as a main course.

Edited by Barbara Rolek

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound crab meat
  • 2-8 chopped hot chiles, such as serrano or Thai
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of galangal or ginger, grated
  • 6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 5 chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • 1 stalk lemon grass,  white parts only, chopped fine
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp paste (optional)
  • 2 cups coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3-4 lemon or lime leaves (optional)
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

How to Make It

  1. Add the chiles, galangal or ginger, garlic, shallots, ground coriander, lime zest, lemon grass, salt and shrimp paste and pound it into a paste with a mortar and pestle -- you can also buzz it into oblivion in a food processor, but this will not be quite the same.
  2. In a large pot or wok, simmer the coconut milk for 5-6 minutes. Add the mixture from the mortar and stir it into the coconut milk, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
  1. Do not let the mixture boil hard, but a simmer is OK.
  2. Add the crab, fish sauce, sugar, and lemon or lime leaves and let cook for about five minutes, until the leaves begin to give off their aroma and the crab is warmed through.
  3. Serve over white rice and top with black pepper and the cilantro leaves.