|rice paddy in Vietnam|
|crush the prepared crabs with a heavy object on a stone|
|add a little water and stir well to help remove any crab bits|
|strain the liquid|
|repeat the process 2 more times or until the liquid is more clear|
|boil the broth until the fine crab meat floats to the surface in pieces|
|gently scoop and discard the white foam that floats to the surface|
Vietnamese-Style Crab Stock
Green crabs (see How to Prepare Hard-Shell Green Crab link)
Prepare the crabs by removing and discarding the carapace, gills, and apron. Save the roe and/or crab mustard in a separate bowl to be used later. Discard the legs and claws if you prefer using only the bodies. Wash the prepared crabs with about 1 tablespoon of table salt. Rinse with cold fresh water 2-3 times to remove all the salt and drain off the water. Place the crabs in 1-2 freezer or heavy duty plastic bags and crush everything using either a hammer, stone or a heavy object against something hard such as a stone or brick. For best results add a handful of crabs at a time. Pour the crushed crabs in a pot or container. Repeat the process until all the crabs are crushed. Add a little water (about 1/3 of the total water you are using) to the crushed crabs and stir well to help remove the fine meat bits. Using a fine strainer, strain and filter out the crab meat and liquid. Add a little more water (about 1/2 of the remaining water you are using) to the crushed crabs and repeat the process until all the water is used up. By the 3rd and last time the water will become more clear with less crab bits. Save the strained fine crab bits and crab liquid for cooking. Discard the rest.
In a large pot add the crab bits and crab liquid, turn the heat to medium-high to high. Do not stir and let the broth comes to a gentle boil. Once it boils the fine crab meat will float to the surface in large pieces. Turn the heat down slightly if needed so the liquid does not boil over the pot. After about 4-5 minutes stir once and gently scoop out and discard the white foam (impurities) if interested. Avoid discarding the crab meat. Save the broth and crab pieces for making soups or stews.
*1 pound of prepared green crabs can yield about 6-8 cups of broth. The less water you use will make your broth more concentrated and the more water will dilute your broth.
*The unused crab parts make great fertilizer for your garden.
*My mother prefers to use only the green crab bodies when she makes this special stock. I use the bodies, legs and claws.