Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dried Green Crabs

The idea of drying green crabs has been an interest of mine since I started crabbing. I wanted to store the crabs at room temperature instead of freezing for longer shelf life, and not have to rely on electricity or a freezer. The dried crabs can be simmered in water to make a nice broth or sauce. From a recent experiment, I learned that crushing frozen prepared green crabs is less messy. It is best to crush the crabs well. The smaller the bits the faster they will dry. It is very important the crab bits are completely dried to prevent mold growth. After 4 hours at 200 degrees F if your crab bits are not completely dry then bake longer at 200 degrees F. When you are ready to use crush them a little more to extract as much flavor as possible out of them.

Please view How to Prepare Hard-Shell Green Crabs post to process these crabs prior to drying. It is not necessary to remove the roe or the distal pointy legs. The roe will add extra flavor for your broth or stock.

dried green crabs

Dried Green Crabs

Ingredients:

Green crabs, prepared (fresh or frozen), crushed

Method:

Crush the prepared green crabs, spread the crab bits on a cookie pan thinly. Bake at 450 degrees for 30 minutes, then 200 degrees F for 4 hours or until dried. Once cooled store in a glass jar or an airtight container.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Miso Soup

I hope all of you are staying healthy and safe during this coronavirus pandemic. I have been meaning to post a miso soup recipe on this blog but have not had a chance until now. This miso soup is delicious and I contribute this to the savory broth made from no other than the invasive green crabs! If you have green crab stock in the freezer you may use 5-6 cups for this recipe. You may use Simple Green Crab Stock but triple that amount to yield 6 cups. This time I made this broth with just crushed crabs and water. I also discovered that crushing the frozen prepared crabs in a bag with a rock outside is a lot less messy and smelly versus thawed or fresh ones! You may use dried seaweed if you do not have any fresh or frozen. However, start by hydrating a small amount of dried seaweed as they will expand and add more only if needed. Always rinse your dried store-bought seaweed with water before using it.

miso soup
Miso Soup

Ingredients:

About 10 oz of prepared crabs, crushed
6 cups of water
3-3 1/2 Tbsp of miso
16 oz firm tofu, cut into small cubes (size depending on your preference)
3 oz fresh or frozen baby sugar kelp, cleaned and cut into bite-size (about 1-inch pieces)
1-2 scallions, green parts only, chopped

Method:

Simmer crushed crabs in water for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and strain, reserve the broth. Wash the pot or use another clean pot. Add the strained broth in the pot and turn heat up to a simmer. Add miso and dissolve it. After the miso has dissolved add the rest of the ingredients. It will be done once the tofu cubes have been heated through.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Green Crab Suppliers

If you are interested in purchasing green crabs and other seafood here are a few contacts. I am only passing the information and I do not receive any commission for posting this. This list will be updated as I have more contacts.

  • Block Island, Rhode Island (hard-shell and soft-shell green crabs, sugar kelp, oysters):
Catherine Puckett, Block Island. Please contact Catherine at 401-741-2023 or email at oysterwench@aol.com.

  • Maine/New Hampshire (hard-shell green crabs):
Everett Leach, Ogunquit, Maine. Please contact Dr. Gabby Bradt at her office at 603-862-2033.

  • Maine (hard-shell and soft-shell green crabs):
Chris Jamison, Maine. Please contact Chris at 207-776-3864 or email at csjamison@comcast.net for any type of green crabs (depending on the season) and lobsters.

Jonathan Taggart, Maine. Please contact Jonathan at jtaggart@gwi.net for soft-shell crabs (seasonal, and currently supply only meets local demands).

  • Massachusetts (hard-shell and soft-shell green crabs):

Mike and Dina Furlong, Kingston, Massachusetts. Please contact Dina at 339-309-9189 or email at dmfurlong@verizon.net.

  • New Hampshire (typically sea scallops during the winter months and squid during spring months):
Rimrack Fish, Rye, New Hampshire. Please email fv.rimrack@gmail.com to check on the availability of scallops and to place an order. Sorry, they do not sell squid directly to the customers.

  • New Hampshire (hard-shell green crabs):
 Dwight Souther Sr., Seabrook, New Hampshire. Please contact Dwight at 603-944-0424.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Hu Tieu (Teochew Noodle Soup)

Hủ tiếu (Teochew noodle soup) is a popular noodle dish found in Soc Trang and other Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Similar noodle dishes can be found in other Southeast Asian countries such as Cambodia and Singapore where there are large communities of Teochew descendants. In my family, we eat this soup at any meal and any day of the week. It can be eaten dried or wet. The dried noodles are cooked, seasoned, placed in a bowl and served with a smaller bowl of hot broth next to it. The wet soup (as seen in this recipe) is eaten with the broth poured over the entire contents in the bowl and served hot. 

The clear flavorful sweet broth is typically made from pork bones with the addition of salted dried daikon (sai pau), fresh daikon, dried shrimp and/or dried squid. The noodles can be wonton noodles, a mixture of wonton noodles and/or rice noodles and/or wonton dumplings. The toppings can range from just a few to multiple items such as pork ribs, ground pork (but can be turkey or chicken), pork belly slices, pork slices, pork offal (such as liver) slices, fried tofu slices, boiled/steamed peeled whole shrimp, pork balls, fish balls, shrimp balls, fish cake slices, squid, crab meat, boiled quail eggs, chicken eggs, any green leafy vegetables (such as lettuce), chopped salted daikon, bean sprouts, Chinese chives, scallions, cilantro, fried garlic and/or fried shallots. The noodles are generally served with extra vegetables, chili, ground pepper, fish sauce and a wedge of lime on the side.

For this recipe, I used what I have available. I made my umami broth using a mixture of green crabs and a turkey carcass, salted daikon, fresh daikon, and carrot. The toppings consisted of fried tofu, blanched watercress, mushrooms, boiled peeled whole shrimp, bean sprouts, cilantro, scallions, and fried shallots.

I purchased the fresh noodles from Lo's Seafood and Oriental Market in New Hampshire. It is a Hong Kong-style wonton noodle (thick type), each container makes 4 bowls. These noodles taste just like the ones I remember eating in Soc Trang, Vietnam.

Hu Tieu
Hủ Tiếu (Teochew Noodle Soup)

Ingredients:

1 recipe of Hủ Tiếu Broth (recipe below)
1 package of store-purchased Hong Kong-style wonton noodles (wider or thicker strands)
1 container of store-purchased fried tofu, squeezed out the liquid and sliced thinly
12-16 peeled whole shrimp (about 3-4 shrimp per bowl), boiled until just cooked
1 bunch of watercress, blanched until slightly wilted
1 bunch of mushrooms (such as enoki), blanched until slightly wilted
2 handful of bean sprouts
Cilantro, chopped, garnish
Scallions, chopped, garnish
Fried shallots, garnish
Fish sauce (extra seasoning)
Chili peppers (extra seasoning)
Lime or lemon wedges (extra seasoning)

Method:

Dip the small batch of noodles in hot water for about 10-15 seconds. Rinse with water to remove some of the starch. Strain and add to a large bowl. Garnish with 2-3 tofu slices, 2-3 shrimps, some watercress, mushrooms, and bean sprouts. Ladle the hot broth over the bowl. Remove some broth and return it into the pot and add more new hot broth back into the bowl. This will keep the contents in the bowl hot. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and fried shallots. Serve the bowl with extra fish sauce, some lime wedges, and chili peppers.

Hủ Tiếu Broth (makes about 14-15 cups or enough for 4 large bowls)

Ingredients:

16 cups water
1 turkey carcass
1 lb processed green crab
2-3 young kelp (fresh, frozen or dried)
1 piece (about the size of your largest finger) of dried salted daikon
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
1 thumb-sized ginger, sliced and slightly bruised
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 carrot, cut into roughly 2-inch pieces
6-inch piece daikon, cut into roughly 2-inch pieces
About 3 Tbsp fish sauce (to taste)

Method:

Heat the entire contents minus the fish sauce in a large pot, partially cover. Once the liquid comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer for about 1 1/2 hour. Strain and save the broth. Season the strained broth with fish sauce.

Helpful Hints:
  • If you live in seacoast New Hampshire there is an Asian store called Lo's Seafood and Oriental Market located at 1976 Woodbury Avenue, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The people working there are very friendly and helpful. For a small place, they carry a large inventory of Asian ingredients. I purchased watercress, bean sprouts and wonton noodles from them. 
  • When you peel the shrimp, leave about half an inch of the last part of the tail unpeeled. This makes for a better presentation. Remove and discard the intestines.
  • Avoid covering the pot when making the broth as it will yield a cloudy looking broth. You may season the broth with a combination of fish sauce and salt if interested.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Scallop Ceviche

This scallop ceviche is my first green crab dish for 2020! I wonder if this is a sign that I will be eating more of these creatures for the rest of the year! The sea scallops were previously frozen (harvested by my local fisherman, Mike Anderson). I made the salted green crab roe, pickled the kelp (the kelp was grown by Catherine Puckett of Block Island) and grew the microgreens in my kitchen. Since the salted roe has enough salt you may want to omit the salt.

This dish does not need a recipe. You just need to add your ingredients (use whatever you have available or desire), squeeze some fresh lime or lemon wedges and enjoy! It is simple, fun to make and so delicious. The only thing I would comment on is that any raw seafood you use must be very fresh and that there is no cross-contamination with freshwater fish or poor handling. My scallops came from a local fisherman, sealed well using a food saver and kept them in the freezer. So far these are the only scallops that I trust to consume raw.

If you are pregnant, immunocompromised or have any health issues or unsure of your health conditions you may want to consult your health care providers before eating any raw or partially cooked seafood. 

scallop ceviche
Scallop Ceviche

Ingredients:

Cooked roe from 3 large female salted green crabs
4-5 large sea scallops, tough muscles removed, diced into 4-6 pieces
About 8-inch piece of Pickled Kelp, sliced
Some chopped scallions (green parts only)
Some fresh cilantro leaves
Some microgreens
Sriracha sauce (to taste)
Fresh lime or lemon juice (to taste)
Olive oil (to taste)
Sea salt (to taste)

Method:

Cook the salted green crabs for about 5-7 minutes and remove the roe and set aside. Add scallops, kelp, scallions, cilantro, microgreens, and roe. Season with sriracha sauce, lime or lemon juice, oil, and salt. Gently mix and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Pickled Kelp

This pickled kelp is useful for many dishes. You can adjust the sugar and vinegar according to your taste. I normally would add a little salt to my pickles but since the kelp has some natural salt I omit it. You may blanch the kelp for 10-15 seconds for a brighter green color if interested. 

pickled kelp

Pickled Kelp

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
3 Tbsp sugar
About 6 oz fresh young kelp, cleaned and cut into 6-8 inch lengths
1 mason jar (32 oz)

Method:

Simmer the water, vinegar, and sugar for about 5 minutes. Let cool and pour over the kelp. This will be ready to eat within 48-72 hours.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy 2020!!

Wishing you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year!!
--from Green Crab Cafe--


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Mainely Burger

I called this my Mainely burger because it reminds me of what my mother made for our family (in Maine). She often made us patties by hand chopping or grinding a combination of wild Maine shrimp and chicken. These 2 ingredients make delicious moist patties to be eaten whole in sandwiches/burgers or in slices accompanied by piping steamed rice, noodles or pasta. I prefer to fry my burger buns in a pat of butter or Benecol (plant-based) so the interior will not be too soggy.

Mainely burger
Mainely Burger (makes 2)

Ingredients:

2 hamburger buns, pan-fried with a pat of butter or Benacol until golden
Mayonnaise
Sriracha (hot sauce)
2 large Fried Soft-Shell Crabs (more if using smaller ones)
2 Mom's Chicken and Shrimp Patties (see recipe below)
A few slices of Pan-Fried Red Onion (see recipe below)
1 young kelp, blanched in boiling water for about 10 seconds, strained, cut into 2-inch lengths
Tomato slices
Avocado slices
Fresh cilantro, optional

Method:

Layer the ingredients according to your taste.

mom's chicken and shrimp patty

Mom's Chicken and Shrimp Patties (makes 4 patties)

Ingredients:

4 oz shrimp, peeled, deveined, diced
6 oz chicken thigh, deboned, skinless, diced
1/2 tsp shallot-garlic-ginger seasoning (see recipe below)
About 1 Tbsp of egg white
A pinch of salt
A pinch of ground pepper (black or white)

Method:

Combine all ingredients and either hand chop or use a food processor to mince everything. The texture is up to you. I prefer to mince everything slightly on the rough side. Divide the mixture into 4 parts and wet your palm with a little oil and form a round mound with each part. Refrigerate the mound to chill either overnight or at least 4-6 hours. Pan fry with a little oil until cooked thoroughly and golden on each side (about 10 minutes). May add a little oil to the back of the spatula to help press the patties down to make thinner. To test for doneness slice the center to check. The meat should be opaque once cooked.

shallot-garlic-ginger seasoning
Shallot-Garlic-Ginger Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 large shallot, peeled, grated
2 large garlic cloves, peeled, grated
1/2 inch x 1/2 inch ginger, peeled, grated

Method:

Mix well.

pan-fried red onion
Pan-Fried Red Onion

Ingredients:

About 1/2 tsp oil (vegetable or your preference)
1 red onion, peeled, sliced
A pinch of salt (optional)

Method:

Fry the onion in oil until soft. Season with salt if interested.






Monday, December 2, 2019

Charcuterie Board

Recently I made a charcuterie board for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner and people seemed to like it so I am making another board using similar ingredients to share with you. For this board, I have 3 different types of cheese--soft, medium and hard, 3 types of cured meats, pate, dried mission figs, dried dates, roasted macadamia nuts, crackers and of course fried tiny green crabs less than 3/4 inch each. Don't let the crabs scare you. Give it a try because you may end up liking it! The cheese recommendation came from Nancy, owner of a European style cheese store, C'est Cheese. This store has more than cheese products so check it out if you are ever in North Hampton, New Hampshire.

Creating a spread for a charcuterie board is fun and easy. Below is a list of food idea that are typically used on a charcuterie board or plate:

Cheese
Cured meats
Pate 
Dips or spreads
Nuts or seeds
Dried or fresh fruits
Olives or pickles
Fresh vegetables 
Crackers or toasted/grilled baguette slices
Jams, honey, or maple syrup

Below is a board that I made for 2 people. However, you can easily make it larger with more ingredients to feed a crowd. Thank you, Saveur Magazine for the board!


charcuterie board with green crabs
Charcuterie Board

Ingredients:

About 5 oz Aged Goat Gouda (from Holland)
About 4 1/2 oz Truffled Cheddar (from England)
About 3 oz Black Label Cambozola (from Germany)
About 1/2 cup of roasted macadamia nuts
6 thinly slices of pepper salame
6 thinly slices of dry coppa (mild)
6 thinly slices of prosciutto
10 dried mission figs
10 dried dates
5.5 oz of store-bought or home-made pate
2-3 types of crackers
13-15 fried green crabs

Method:

Fry the green crabs in oil until they turn orange-red color and are cooked, about 3-5 minutes depending on the size. Arrange the ingredients according to your style.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thank you

I want to take a moment to thank all of you who supported and voted for me! It was an honor to be a finalist at the Saveur Blog '19 Awards and a wonderful experience to attend this amazing event. A huge thanks to Saveur Magazine and the city of Cincinnati for hosting/organizing all the fun food and drink activities for us. I am grateful to have met so many talented and creative people and new friends!

As soon as I have time I will start to post some photos on Instagram. You may follow greencrabcafe on Instagram!

Please check out the site below for all the nominations and winners.
https://www.saveur.com/winners-2019-saveur-blog-awards/


--Thanh Thai (Green Crab Cafe)

Dried Green Crabs

The idea of drying green crabs has been an interest of mine since I started crabbing. I wanted to store the crabs at room temperature instea...