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  1. #1
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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Wayne Kerr’s Chilli Crab

    Decided to stay away from the bars and massage joints this Sunday afternoon. Really couldn’t be arsed working either. Was keen to have a good feed and something to drink, but couldn’t think of the right place. Mrs. Kerr suggested chilli crab and some strong gin and tonics at home, and after a few weeks away I’d just about have my balls chopped off if I disagreed.

    Unfortunately Mrs. Kerr and most other Thai women I know have no feckin idea it when it comes to buying crabs. Mud crab is the best to cook with chilli so after an unsuccessful look in the local Carrefour, I ducked up to the Huay Kwang market to buy some. One of the best things about living in Bangkok is you can just about find good, live crabs anywhere and anytime.

    A mistake most people make when buying crabs is they often go for the biggest, cleanest, most colourful ones with the biggest, sharpest claws. Sure they look good, but chances are they’ll have fuck all meat in them. Crabs are like snakes in that they shed their skins when it is time to grow, and crabs with nice new big shells have usually expended most of their energy over the past few months growing their shells and their meat is very watery, kind of like jelly.

    If you eat crabs in Thailand I’m sure you’ve come across this. What many of the sellers here do is put the big crabs with new shells in high salinity water for a few days before sale … their reasoning is that this causes them to take water on and as they are heavier they can make more from them. Of course for poor mugs like you and I, this means we end up paying too much for low quality product. For me I couldn’t give a stuff about the 20 baht difference in price, but if I go to the trouble of buying and cooking the feckers I want something I’m gunna enjoy.

    Anyway, to beat this trick I usually look for crabs with the oldest shells possible. Lots of black coating on them, dents and bits missing are good. Also look at their claws … forget it if they are sharp. The more worn down the teeth on their claws are the more likely that they will be full of high quality meat. You can also apply a bit of pressure with your thumb on their backs (just next to where their claws join onto their bodies) … if there is any “give” there it is very likely they are full of water rather than meat (this is a good trick to make the sellers squirm).

    Anyway, here are a few pics of 6 mud crabs I picked up for 300 baht (about $10) … just under $2 each. They aren’t big but they were full of meat. We turned them into chilli crab for dinner ... some pics and vids of that too. With the chilli and other stuff, 5 bottles of beer for me, and tonic water for Mrs. Kerr’s gins the total bill was less than 500 baht.


    ^ The crabs I picked up in Huay Kwang, Bangkok … they were 180 baht/kg, 3 crabs to the kg. I had a good chat to the seller and managed to get 6 crabs for 300 baht … shit it was a hot Sunday afternoon so I imagine he was glad to get rid of them before they died.


    ^ They weren’t big, but they were full of meat. Their shells were old and beat up, and the teeth on their claws where also very blunt ... these are the best things to look when trying to buy crabs that haven't just molted and are full of water rather than meat.

  2. #2
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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Next step is cooking them. I reckon boiling them live is best. Heaps of salt in the water and bung them in for about ten minutes. Is also a good idea to untie them first ... watch your fingers though. Vid of the first crab going into the pot.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  3. #3
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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Just keep them going like this for about 10 minutes and you'll be laughing.
    Attached Files Attached Files

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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    ^ When they look like this they are just about ready to be rinsed in icy cold water if possible

  5. #5
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    ^ Next trick is to break them up ... this is best done by men as it is only a 2 minute job

  6. #6
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    ^ Next step is to pull together a few chillies, cloves of garlic, and black peppers ... the rest aint that important but not bad eating


    ^ Then bang up the chilli and garlic and get the soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce out of the bottle. Always a good idea to have some beer handy in case you get thirsty .


    ^ Then just bang it into all into a fry pan on medium heat and just add the sauce as you see fit ... use beer instead of oil to stop things sticking to the pan .


    ^ Then whack it on the table, but make sure the beer and tonic water is cold .

  7. #7
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    Initially we only did half of the crabs in chilli but it tasted so good we ended up doing the rest. Mrs. Kerr and Wayne Jnr are sleeping off their big feast and I've saved myself several thousand baht by staying in and posting this rather than going out ... an afternoon well spent .


  8. #8
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    looks bladdy good mate, personally i prefer crabs eaten plain, just dip the meat into a spicy chilli sauce as u go.

    thnx for the tips on how to buy the best crabs, i didnt know that!

  9. #9
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    I always buy the best looking crabs, never thought about buying the tatty beaten up ones, live and learn, I also prefer to dip my crabs.

  10. #10
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    Wayne Kerr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    never thought about buying the tatty beaten up ones,
    Gotta be careful with the ones that look as though they've been in a few scraps ... was just telling a mate that one was playing dead and just about bit my finger off ... didn't hurt of course .

  11. #11
    ding ding ding
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    Wayne certainly knows his crabs!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spin
    Wayne certainly knows his crabs!
    Well ... ummm ... I must admit that I have sought expert advice about crabs in the past .

  13. #13
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    From now on I'll look for the tatty one's.

  14. #14
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    It works out the same with women some of the ugliest have the sweetest meat aswell !

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    Hot diggedy dog Wayne - some tasty lookin' crabs there !!

    Don't go the chilli crabs as often anymore after a nasty incident of absent mindedly wiping my eyes shortly after eating some chilli crab; and the left over chilli residue on my fingers turned my eyes into great balls of fire !!

    still; 8am in the morning and I'm already salivating about the thought of lunch !!

  16. #16
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    Wayne, thanks for the beginner's lesson on selecting crabs.

    It must be a western/Euro/farang thing that the nicest looking (insert object here) is always the best. Funny how we judge solely by using our eyes and forgetting our other senses.

    E. G.

  17. #17
    Member tiswas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Kerr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    never thought about buying the tatty beaten up ones,
    Gotta be careful with the ones that look as though they've been in a few scraps ... was just telling a mate that one was playing dead and just about bit my finger off ... didn't hurt of course .
    Thanks for that Wayne, I always look for the ones that look big & bold. Now I know why I'm never full after going for them sort of crabs...you live & learn everyday

  18. #18
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    Where's the best place to buy crab meat already prepared? I can't be bothered mucking around with shells.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    Where's the best place to buy crab meat already prepared?
    They sell de-shelled fresh crab claw at the Tops in the Esplanade complex on Ratchadaphisek. Also know a great little restuarant near Sanam Luang that specialises in magnificent curry crab dishes - they meticulously de-shell the crab prior to cooking. I'll post the details next time I go there.

    Anyway today I had a spot of work to do down at Phrasamutchedi, Samut Prakan and stopped off to see the old lady that sells crabs by the road side down there. I was hoping she'd have some crabs with eggs in them so I could get some pics of how to check for eggs - these are the delicious. She'd sold out of them so it will have to wait until next time .




    ^ Some decent sized crabs for sale on the roadside at Samut Prakan


    ^ A few decent sized crabs I picked up for "happy hour" ... they are sitting on a large dinner plate.

  20. #20
    gos
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    Great pictures and info wayne I now know how to find a good crab but it would take a second mortgage to buy them in Australia

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by gos
    Great pictures and info wayne I now know how to find a good crab but it would take a second mortgage to buy them in Australia
    Blame Wayne. His mark-up is astronomical!!

  22. #22
    Roc
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    Good stuff Wayne!!
    Have you ever curried your crabs?

  23. #23
    Hifaluten Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roc
    Have you ever curried your crabs?
    Jesus Christ mate .. you strike me for a happy clapper or something ... I do all manner of nasty things to crabs, one my favourites is to whack'em in some strong yellow curry, but chilli is better ... curried crab egg is the delicious so I will post next time I do it.

  24. #24
    Roc
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    ^I can't help it mate "I LOVE GOOD FOOD".
    Looking forward to your next thread.
    Cheer's

  25. #25
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    Wayne, you described the cooking process somewhat crabbedly. You forgot to highlight the need to crack the nippers before stirfrying. Really, as any old doughpuncher knows, this helps to infuse the meat with chilli.
    However, to your credit, I notice that a nipper in the pan appears to have been cracked.

    Please Wayne, don't encourage your readers to purchase female crabs. You, of all people, should realise that the catching of female crabs puts a strain on stocks.

    Nice presentation 9/10.

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