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.
The Food of Vietnam
Authentic Recipes from the Heart of Indochina
By Trieu Thi Choi and Marcell Isaak
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created September 1999
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