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***Fresh Mud Crab Laksa RECIPE***
Reviewed by AK on 06 Jul 2005
Serves: 4
Prep: 20mins
Cooking: 20mins

4-5 good sized Mud crabs
1 tablespoon peanut oil
125g (1/2 cup) homemade laksa paste (see recipe)
2 x 280ml cans coconut milk
1 1/2 cups of Fish stock
Pinch of salt
500g hokkien noodles (or noodles of your choice)
2-3 loosely packed fresh Vietnamese mint leaves (garnish)
Fresh Coriander (garnish)
***LAKSA PASTE ***
Makes: 400g (2) cups
Prep: 15mins

2-6 fresh banana red chilies
4-6 fresh Spring onions, coarsely chopped
10 Macadamia nuts
3cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled coarsely chopped
2 stems lemon grass, pale selection only, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoon peanut oil
1 ½ tablespoon finely grated fresh turmeric
Or ½ tablespoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon of ground Coriander Seeds
1 tablespoon Curry paste of your choice for flavour
2-4 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of fish stock

--0--

Coarsely chop the chilli, spring onions, Macadamias, garlic & lemon grass then add all this and remaining laksa paste ingredients into a food processor and process until finely chopped…

This is pretty much the paste made….. Put half a cup of it to one side and the rest into an air tight container (no preservatives) and put in freezer or fridge depending on when you are going to use it again…

Now to start cooking the Laksa..

First we want to make up the gravy so that it has plenty of time to thicken up, to do this you heat up a decent sized pan to hold all that sauce we are about to make with a bit of peanut oil to begin with too this we add 2-3 tablespoons of our fresh made laksa paste and heat it through to release all the natural flavours once you can start to smell that sauce add to it the 2 cans of coconut milk and the rest of the fish stock, you may want to give that gravy a bit of a taste test now. We decided that it needed just a little more kick to it so we added another smaller tablespoon of curry paste, but this is entirely up to your palette.
Now leave this sauce to simmer away and start on the Crabs...

After cleaning all the Mud crabs and breaking them down in to manageable sizes we choose to leave them in halves but pre-cracked the shells around the claws to allow both the flavour in and to let the water that is stored in the claws out, don't want too much of that crab juice diluting all that beautiful laksa gravy we just so caringly made.
Now that the crabs are ready to be cooked.

Preheat your wok with peanut oil so that the oil starts to smoke then throw in as many mud crabs as will fit in and put a lid over the top ( A couple of sheets of Al-foil will do just to keep the steam and natural juices in...) give this a few moments to heat thru then pour in either a touch of water of a splash of beer, we used beer seeing as we where cooking over a barbie and that's what was close at the time it also gives it just a bit more flavour than water(you can also use some of that laksa gravy if you like).. Place lid back over the wok and leave until the crabs are go a nice orange/red colour.
If there is still more crabs to do move the cooked ones into the laksa gravy while you cook the rest.
If not then simply pour the laksa gravy over the top of all those beautiful crabs and heat it all up together over a lower heat...

Now you can get those veggies and noodles ready while the crabs soak up some of the sauce. Seeing as our wok is probably overflowing with crabs either steam some vegetables in you microwave or just quickly prepare them in another pan, do the same with your noodles.
Now simply serve up the noodles and veggies into bowls and serve up, leave the crabs and sauce in the wok and place in middle of table and add garnish as you like....
Prepare to get messy if you don't your not doing it right.....

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.......



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