The Yomiuri ShimbunCrab with curry-flavored egg
Chefs and cooking experts take turns in this column sharing recipes that are easy to prepare at home.
Pensri Ajisawa, who creates dishes for Pensri’s Kitchen restaurants, shared this recipe for a popular Thai dish of stir-fried crab with fluffy curry-flavored egg, featuring the rich texture of blue crab and vegetables that are cooked with egg infused with curry flavor. It is delicious whether you eat it on its own or on top of rice.
Pensri’s Kitchen restaurants are located in the Yotsuya district of Tokyo and other locations.
Spicy curries are among the dishes that come to mind when one refers to Asian food. This crab dish, called “boo paht pong karee,” is available at many Thai restaurants in Japan. Crab is relatively expensive compared with other seafood such as shrimp and squid in the Southeast Asian country, just as in Japan, but Ajisawa says that “everybody likes the dish very much.”
Apart from the crab, any other ingredient can be used.
“This time, I used a lot of vegetables. They make it colorful and [the dish’s] nutritional balance better,” Ajisawa said, adding that there are some restaurants and households in Thailand that do not use any ingredients other than crab.
After frying the crab and vegetables lightly in heated oil, fry all the ingredients with the beaten eggs to finish. The process of frying in advance helps seal in the umami flavor of the crab and vegetables. It also creates a better texture because it prevents moisture from escaping the ingredients.
“Fry the crab and vegetables in heated oil until their colors become vivid,” she said.
Next, add the curry powder and turmeric to the beaten eggs.
“Turmeric makes the yellow color of the eggs more beautiful,” Ajisawa said.
The key to making eggs fluffy lies in how you fry them. It is important to pour the eggs into the frying pan as if drawing a circle. Using utensils such as turners or spatulas rather than cooking chopsticks, cook them lightly by stirring roughly. When they are about half-cooked, take off the heat and serve.
The aroma of curry stimulates the appetite. With the crab’s umami soaking into the soft, mild egg, the spicy flavor spreads through the mouth. This dish goes really well with rice.
Filling scrambled egg soup
Ajisawa also shared an easy recipe for scrambled egg soup:
Heat 2 tbsp salad oil in frying pan, add 2 beaten eggs and lightly fry both sides, then chop into chunks with turner. Add 300 cc water, bring to boil, then add 1 tbsp nam pla sauce with 1 long banno-negi, a type of scallion, cut into 3-cm-long pieces and bunch of chopped coriander to finish.
This egg soup is more filling than egg drop soup.
Stir-fried crab with fluffy curry-flavored egg
Ingredients (serves 2):
2 blue crabs
1 tbsp flour
40 grams onion
30 grams green pepper
25 grams red pepper
20 grams celery sticks
5 grams celery leaves
2 long banno-negi (a type of scallion)
1 clove garlic
5 grams ginger
½ tsp curry powder
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp potato starch
1 tbsp water
1½ tsp nam pla fish sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp coconut milk
1. Cut crabs in half lengthwise. Cut off tips of legs and crack claws with flat side of kitchen knife. Chop crab into easy-to-eat portions, coat with flour and deep-fry at 180 C until color changes.
2. Slice onion into wedges. Chop green pepper and red pepper into large chunks. Slice celery sticks diagonally, 1 cm wide. Quickly fry vegetables in same heated oil used for crab.
3. Mix “A” set of ingredients together, then combine “B” set of ingredients. Crack eggs into mixture and add 2 tbsp salad oil.
4. Finely chop garlic and ginger, then heat 2 tbsp salad oil in frying pan and quickly cook them until fragrant. Lightly stir-fry the crabs and vegetables cooked in step one and two.
5. Add ingredients prepared in step three to rest of ingredients and stir roughly. When eggs are half-cooked, add banno-negi cut into 4-cm-long pieces and roughly chopped celery leaves, then turn off heat and serve.
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