Cookbook Profile

Cua Rang Voi Sot Me

Crab with Tamarind Sauce


Crab with Tamarind Sauce This is what they're eating at those crowded tables on the sidewalks of Ho Chi Minh City- a taste sensation.


4 whole medium crabs
Peanut oil for deep-frying
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1/4 cup rice wine
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup chopped baby leeks or
   spring onions (white part only),
   cut in 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon crushed white pepper


Clean the crabs, take off the tops, rinse thoroughly, cut in half and break the claws. Heat peanut oil in wok until very hot, deep-fry crabs for 30 seconds, or until color changes. Set on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Dissolve tamarind pulp in rice wine. In a large pan or wok, sauté garlic in vegetable oil until soft, add crab and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes on a high heat. Add tamarind mixture, fish sauce and pepper. Reduce for another 2 minutes, then add baby leeks. Remove from heat. Place crabs on a platter and pour tamarind sauce over. Serve with steamed rice.

Helpful hints: Although this dish is traditionally prepared in a wok, the use of a deep-flyer might make the cooking easier. You can also substitute freshly ground black pepper, although white pepper is often the preferred ingredient of Vietnamese cooks.

Buy the Book!


The Food of Vietnam
Authentic Recipes from the Heart of Indochina

By Trieu Thi Choi and Marcell Isaak
Periplus Editions
Hardback, $16.95
ISBN: 962-593-394-8
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


The Food of Vietnam


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This page created September 1999