I first encountered crab fried rice at Spoon Thai, up in Chicago's Lincoln Square neighborhood. It was an afterthought of an order, but I kind of fell in love with it. Instead of greasy and heavy, it was surprisingly light and slightly sweet. It was astonishingly good, and yet didn't seem all that complex. The flavor was straightforward and clean and the crab was mostly just sprinkled on top. Could I simply make this at home?
Although it's not exactly the same, this recipe from Epicurious comes close. Quite like Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Ginger Fried Rice, this recipe is less about high heat and more about taking it slow. This makes the process a lot more calm, and less frenetic. You don't have to worry about the rice sticking to the pan or oil splattering everywhere. You just stir occasionally when the time seems right.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup cooked jasmine rice
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 scallions, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 3 ounces cooked crab meat
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Crack the egg into the skillet and let it cook for about a minute or so. Then scramble up the bits that haven't cooked.
Dump in the rice, and stir until all the rice is coated in the oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes. Then add the sugar, soy sauce, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for another minute.
Add the chopped scallions and half of the crab meat. Cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.
Serve the rice on a large plate. Sprinkle with the remaining crab and chopped cilantro. Season with salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.