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
- 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.