Recipe: Crab –N- Rice

It’s that time of year again, the crabs are out and everyone is hunting them down.

Land crabs are a sensational dish throughout the Caribbean, in the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos “Crab and Rice” is a hidden delicacy. Here is a recipe on how to make it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 5 white land crabs or 7 black land crabs, cleaned, segmented, fat removed
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or 1 tablespoon of corn oil
  • 1 large white/yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ small green pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ scotch bonnet peppers, finely chopped with (optional) or ½ without seeds (optional)
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 5 cups hot water
  • 2 cups parboiled long grain rice or 2 ½ cups long grain rice

Directions:

  • Wash live crabs under the tap using a toothbrush to wash sand from under band and from between toes until completely clean.
  • Turn crab with eyes away, upside down, slipping a blunt knife (a butter knife is ideal) between the shell’s seams, push upward to separate the crab’s shell in two.
  • Be careful not to push the knife too far (the gall sac is in the direct path of the knife!).
  • Pull apart
  • Scoop the fat from both sides of the shell into a bowl using the knife or a spoon.
  • Discard the empty half shell, band, mouth, gills and all other remaining internal organs, leaving behind the toes.
  • Break the two segments in half by holding each half securely and snapping apart.
  • This can also be done by chopping the segment with a cleaver.
  • Wash the toe segments under the tap and put them in the bowl with the fat.
  • This process is to be repeated until each crab is processed.
  • Place a large pot over medium high heat, adding the vegetable/corn oil.
  • Allow the oil to heat until a drop of water sizzles when dripped in the oil.
  • Add onion, green pepper, salt, black pepper, seasoned salt, and thyme, scotch bonnet and stir.
  • Sauté ingredients until onion are transparent, stirring constantly, about 3 to five minutes.
  • Add crab fat and segments, sauté, stirring constantly until fat is liquid, about 7 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste; stir ingredients together for another 5 minutes.
  • Add water.
  • Stir ingredients with the water, taste, adjust salt to taste, bring to a slow simmer.
  • Gently pour rice into pot, stirring slowly to ensure even distribution of the rice in the liquid.
  • Turn heat down to low and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid to prevent steam from escaping. Foil can be used under the lid to prevent the steam escaping.
  • Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Do not lift lid while cooking.
  • Turn heat off and let rice stand covered for 10-15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
  • Fluff and serve hot.

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