This is an ‘I love my friends’ or ‘I’m spoiling myself’ dish. The egg is the key as it helps the flavours stick to the crab.
My father’s great love was mud crab and I have followed in his footsteps. It is, to me, the greatest crab I’ve ever tasted. The great thing about it is that it’s robust enough to handle Asian flavours with aplomb but also happy picked and dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil.
To make the paste, pound the garlic, sea salt, chillies, ginger and the shallots in a mortar with a pestle until you have a fine paste. Or use a blender to process the ingredients, adding
Kill the crab humanely, then clean and quarter it.
Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C/350°F), and deep-fry the crab in two batches for 3–4 minutes until it turns bright red. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towel. Discard all but
Reheat the wok until smoking, add the paste and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the curry powder and spring onions, stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the fish sauce and sugar. Stir in the egg and cook until it just begins to set, then add the coconut milk. Return the crab to the wok and toss together, stir through the coriander leaves and squeeze over the lime juice to serve.
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