The good news is I have more of my mom’s recipes that I thought. The “bad” news? I am becoming more compulsive in finding more… And worse… The more I find, the more I want to make, cook, and bake everything!
The first dish that I wanted to make was her Crab Rice… but as always, I want to do things my way! So, while her dish is steamed for an hour in a steamer, mine is cooked in my rice cooker!!! I like the convenience of a dump-everything recipe.
I also varied the recipe somewhat… because I could not find live mud crabs, but I had crab meat from blue crabs, talangka (Asian shore crab) and soft shell crab! Why, you may ask, do I have those??? Well… it seems that I bought them at one time or another and they kinda got stuck in freezer. By “stuck” I mean it got relegated to the bottom and it only surfaced when the freezer broke and we had take everything out!
So, this dish is based on my mom’s recipe but it is uniquely mine too!
(Note – using 3 kinds of crabs is a bit complicated. The easier way to do it is to simply use 3 to 4 pieces of crab, live mud crabs to be specific.)
1-1/2 cup rice (I use “young” denorado variety)
100 to 150 grams liempo (pork belly strip), sliced into matchsticks, optional
6 pieces (small) soft-shell crabs, rinsed and patted dry
200 grams talangka, cleaned
1/4 to 1/2 cup crab meat
8 pieces dried black mushrooms, rehydrated, reserve soaking liquid
several slices of ginger
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small violet/red onion, minced
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 to 2 tablespoons reserved mushroom soaking liquid
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
3 cups cold water, more or less depending on the variety of rice used
flour for dredging soft shell crabs
leeks or spring onions for garnish
Place the cold water in the rice cooker pot. Set aside for the meantime.
Saute half the ginger, garlic and onions. Add the crab meat; stir lightly to break up the meat but not so much – leave the mix chunky. Add the rice grains and stir lightly, just so the rice grains are coated in oil. Pour this mixture in the rice cooker. Put the rehydrated mushrooms in the rice cooker pot as well.
Saute the remaining ginger, garlic and onions. Add the sliced pork belly and stir fry a couple of minutes. Add the talangka and seasonings. Cook a couple of minutes then dump the mixture in the rice cooker. Give a quick gentle stir to mix everything. Switch on the rice cooker and cook.
Meanwhile, dredge the soft shell crabs in flour. Then, fry it until it is cooked. Drain on paper towels. Set aside until the rice cooker finishes cooking.
When the rice is done, put the fried soft shell crabs on top. Garnish with leeks then serve!
If using a single variety of crab, get about 3 to 4 pieces of crab. Parboil the already clean crabs until partially cooked. Lift the crabs out, reserve the liquid left behind. Leave one crab whole, and chop the rest into smaller pieces. There will be more liquid coming from the crabs, save it as well.
Put everything in the rice cooker except the whole crab. Don’t forget to put in the crab liquids. Give a quick stir to mix everything up. Switch on the rice cooker.
Halfway through, put the whole crab in. Cover and continue cooking until done.
Garnish with leeks or spring onions and serve!
Note about the pork – go ahead and skip it. I find that it interferes with the overall dish!
Final note – my mom’s recipe specifies glutinous rice but I had none and used our usual denorado instead.