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)


2 hamburger buns, pan-fried with a pat of butter or Benacol until golden
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


Layer the ingredients according to your taste.

mom's chicken and shrimp patty

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


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)


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


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


Mix well.

pan-fried red onion
Pan-Fried Red Onion


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


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:

Cured meats
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


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


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.

--Thanh Thai (Green Crab Cafe)

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Green Crab Ice Cream

The best part about making my own ice cream is that I can control the amount of sugar that goes in it and I can add just about anything that I want...including green crab roe! Most commercial ice cream here in the US is way too sweet for me, making it difficult for me to enjoy. 

When I was a child living in the hot humid weather of Vietnam I remember that it was a real treat to be driven to the nearby city for ice cream. Each of us would get 3 tiny balls of durian ice cream about an inch in diameter. This may seem child size but that was the only size! Even to this day the size of that ice cream scoop remains the same in that part of Vietnam. I remember the ice cream was not overly sweet but was very creamy with the right balance of durian. If you do not like durian then you are out of luck because that was the only flavor!

This may be the first green crab ice cream recipe in print since these destructive species invaded the US back in the 1800s! As with all of my recipes feel free to adjust the ingredients. You may use either cooked salted green crab roe or unsalted. However, I think the salted roe is tastier and it enhances the overall flavors of the sweet ice cream! If you prefer more roe then add more. The idea to use salted roe came from the Teochew (Chinese) sweet pastry known as "pia". Many of them are made with salted duck egg yolks. For less fat content you may use 2 cups of whole milk and 1 cup of heavy cream. I mixed the chopped roe in during the processing and that resulted in having scattered orange specks with a subtle salty flavor in the ice cream. I prefer to use vanilla beans over the extract but you can use what is affordable and available. I wish I had access to fresh pandan leaves (sometimes known as the vanilla of Southeast Asia) but I have to make do with what I have.

green crab ice cream ready for the freezer

Green Crab Ice Cream (makes about 2 1/2 pints or 5 cups)


2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk 
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 vanilla bean pod or tsp vanilla extract
1 oz chopped cooked salted green crab roe, cooled


Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise if using and scrape out the tiny black beans. Add the beans and pod halves to the heavy cream, milk, and sugar in a medium sized pot and turn the heat to medium high. Stir occasionally until just boiling, then turn down heat to a simmer and stir occasionally (to prevent the bottom of the pot from burning) for about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat.

Whisk eggs in a medium sized bowl, and temper this with the heated liquid. Add vanilla extract if you are not using the bean.

Let the contents cool completely, cover and chill in a refrigerator. Best if chilled overnight. Remove the bean pod halves.

Stir the chilled liquid and salted crab roe and process in your ice cream maker for 30 minutes or according to your manufacturer's instructions.

Pour the ice cream into a container and place in the freezer for at least 4-6 hours or overnight to firm up. Once firm you can start eating.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Saveur Blog '19 Awards

Dear readers,
I am honored that Saveur (food magazine) team has selected my blog as one of the finalists for Saveur Blog 2019 Awards. You may vote for Green Crab Cafe (under Best Special Interest Blog category). You have until Friday, October 18th to vote. Please share with your family and friends and spread the words that we need to eat these invasive green crabs, one by one! Thank you so much for your support!

Vote for Your Favorite Food Blogs in the 2019 Saveur Blog Awards!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Seafood Risotto

I used a rice cooker to make the rice for this seafood risotto. This may not be the most traditional way to make it but my lazy way is fairly fast and tastes decent! In the past I have made my risotto by gradually adding a ladle of broth into the rice until the liquid was absorbed by the rice and then adding more until the rice is cooked al dente. This time I have no patience so I decided to use my rice cooker. This recipe makes about 6 servings. 

seafood risotto
Seafood Risotto


2 C of arborio rice
3 to 3 1/2 C Green Crab Stock For Chowders
About 1 Tbsp oil (such as olive or vegetable oil)
1/2 white or yellow medium sized onion, chopped
5 baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 littleneck clams, scrubbed and washed
6 prepared female green crabs, leave the roe intact on the body, roe from carapace removed and set aside
12 large shrimp, peeled, butterflied, and deveined
12 sea scallops, tough muscles removed
5 squid, scored and cut into bite-size or cut into rings
About 10 squid tentacles
About 1/2 C frozen peas, microwaved for about 30-40 seconds, drained
5 chives plants, nipped with scissors or chopped
About 1 1/2 to 2 Tbsp fish sauce


Cook the rice with 2 1/2 cups of stock.

While the rice is cooking heat a large pan with oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until it is soft and translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until they are wilted. Add the clams and crabs, cook until the clams are partially opened, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp, scallops, squid, and squid tentacles. Cook until the shrimp are opaque and curled up (the scallops and squid will take less time). Scatter the roe and cook until they become solid. Stir in rice, peas, and another 1/2 to 1 cup of stock to moisten the rice. At the last 1-2 minutes add chives and season with fish sauce to taste.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Green Crab Stock For Chowders

green crab stock for chowders

Green Crab Stock For Chowders (makes about 4 1/2 cups)


15 prepared green crabs
6 C water
3 young kelps (dried or fresh)
About 10 cilantro stems and 2 cilantro roots
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled, quartered or diced
3-4 slices of ginger, bruised
2 garlic cloves, smashed


Prepare each crab by removing and discarding the carapace, apron, and gills. Scrub the crabs in a little salt and rinse in cold water, let them drain. Crush the crabs (the finer the crabs are crushed the more flavors the result). Place the crab in a pot and add water, kelp, cilantro stems, cilantro roots, onion, ginger and garlic. Turn the heat to high. Once the liquid starts to boil turn the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Strain and save the liquid for cooking.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Rice and Fish Soup (Chao Ca)

rice and fish soup (chao ca)
I grew up eating rice porridge or soup, sometimes refers to as congee, known in Vietnamese as "cháo" or in Teochew as "mue". Sometimes it is simply cooked with just a little rice and lots of water and we (my family and I) would eat this along with salted duck eggs, Teochew omelets, pickled greens or radishes, and/or some salty dishes. Other times it is made with seafood, poultry or meat for a more substantial meal. We consume these soups anytime throughout the day or when we are ill. Many years ago when my husband fell ill after visiting Cambodia my mother made rice soup with ground pork for him to restore his health when we saw her in Vietnam. One time, in between jobs, I stayed with my late grandmother for 3 months in Vietnam. I made her a similar rice and fish soup but with chicken stock. I bought a whole snakehead fish, a popular local fresh water fish at the market. After scaling and gutting it I placed the entire fish in the pot to cook. I removed the fish once it had been cooked, separated the flesh and returned it to the pot. My grandmother complimented that it was very tasty and ate 2 bowls that night. Normally she would eat only 1/2 a bowl of plain rice soup with a small piece of fermented bean curd, a salted olive-like seed or half a salted duck egg in the evening.

For this recipe instead of the green crabs I used Asian shore crabs that I hand-harvested from coastal New Hampshire. They are also an invasive species found in this region of the US but are smaller than the green crabs. The largest I caught measured about an inch across the carapace. These have lots of eggs so my soup has a beautiful yellow orange hue. If you substitute green crabs in this recipe you may use 15-20 adults as they are larger.

Recently I was at the dock crabbing and came across Capt. Ralph and his son docking after a day out at sea. He generously gave me a bag of haddock. Thank you, Capt. Ralph! I ate half that evening and the other half I froze. I thawed them for this recipe as haddock is a great chowder fish. Use as much fish as you prefer. You can use either cooked or uncooked rice. Typically I use leftover rice to make this soup--a way to use old rice and decrease cooking time.

rice and fish soup (chao ca)
Rice and Fish Soup (Cháo Cá)


45 Asian shore crabs, crushed (the finer the better)
10 cups water
1 yellow or white onion, sliced or chopped
3 dried or fresh young kelp
1 thumb sized ginger, sliced, chopped or julienned
2 garlic cloves, smashed
About 5 sprigs of cilantro stems
1/3 cup uncooked rice
About 1 to 1 1/2 lbs of haddock or cod
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallion
Chopped fresh chives or scallions, garnish
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves, garnish
Fried shallots, garnish
Freshly ground black or white pepper, garnish


Place the crushed crabs, water, onion, kelp, ginger, garlic and cilantro in a large pot. Simmer for about 30 minutes. Scoop out any yellow orange bits (a combination of meat and roe) that float to the top and reserve for the later.

After 30 minutes, strain the broth into another pot. Add rice to the broth. Cook until the rice is soft and enlarged (takes about 30 minutes for uncooked rice). After about 15-20 minutes of cooking add the fish. Once the fish is cooked (it will flake off easily) remove it and separate it into pieces (however small or large you prefer) of flesh and return the pieces back to the pot. Add the yellow orange bits to the pot. About 5 minutes before done add scallion and season with fish sauce.

Serve hot and garnish with chives or scallion, cilantro leaves, fried shallots and ground pepper.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Crab Roe On a Triple Deck

Our neighbors Joyce and Doug planned a neighborhood get together to meet one another. It seems that these days despite being surrounded by many neighbors we are living in isolation. Everyone rushes out to work in the morning and comes home late at night and stays in. The only time we see some of them is during a heavy snowstorm when we are forced to dig out our vehicles. Today's event was a success and we met some wonderful people. Thank you, Joyce for your brilliant idea!

I decided to serve some green crabs. Why not? This IS New England and we EAT seafood here! 😀I am not trying to win votes for anything. I just want to let people know about these invasive green crabs and to provide a very small taste to those interested. About half of the people (ok, maybe less!) tried and the rest just watched those taking a bite! I actually unable to tell if people actually liked it. One of them ate a second piece...maybe he felt obligated since I put it in front of his face!

This recipe calls for 10 small bites but feel free to make more. I steamed the hard shell female green crabs for about 10 minutes. Once cooled I kept them in the refrigerator. I harvested the roe and used for these appetizers. 

crab roe on a triple deck
Crab Roe On a Triple Deck


10 Ritz crackers (or crackers of your choice)
10 slices of brie (or cheese of your choice)
10 slices of sliced tomato (or cucumber), dabbed with paper towels to remove excess liquid
2 mint leaves (or another herb of your choice), cut into strips, chopped or hand torn
Roe from 8-10 cooked hard-shell female green crabs


Layer the brie slices, tomato slices, herb and roe on crackers.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Crab Brulee (makes 6 ramekins)

crab brulee

I first made non-dairy crème brûlée using strictly coconut milk instead of my normal heavy cream so that my mother can eat it as she is moderately lactose intolerant. The final result turned out creamy; much better and tastier than I had imagined. The term "crab brulee" coined by our friend, Mark Broomer. Thank you, Mark!

I used 1 Tahitian vanilla pod. You may use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you prefer this over the beans.

crab brulee
Crab Brulee (makes 6 ramekins)


Roe from 8-10 adult female live green crabs
8 large egg yolks
3 Tbsp white sugar (or according to your taste), plus 1 tsp white sugar
14 oz (400 mL) of coconut milk
1 vanilla pod
Boiling water (for bath)
Turbinado sugar (raw sugar), about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp per ramekin (or according to your taste and health)
Fresh berries to garnish if interested


Wash the female green crabs and drain. Remove the roe (eggs) and set aside. Rinse the roe and strain. Remove and discard any dark pieces or any non-roe bits. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar to the roe. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Boil water (this will be for the water bath), preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium size metal or glass bowl, whisk yolks and 3 tablespoons of white sugar together and set aside.

Shake the coconut milk can, open and pour it in a small pot. Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape all the vanilla bean caviar (using the tip of a knife) and add these tiny beans and pod to the pot. Cook over medium high heat. Once the liquid starts to boil turn heat down to a simmer, stir occasionally for about 5 minutes.

Temper the cream and vanilla mixture initially a little at a time (about one ladle at a time) to the bowl with the yolks and sugar, while constantly whisking the contents.

Place 6 ramekins in a casserole dish. Divide each ramekin with the liquid (mixture). Divide the crab roe in each ramekin. Place the casserole dish with the filled ramekins inside the oven. Pour the hot bath water into the casserole dish about 1/3 up to the ramekins. Take care not to burn yourself or pour any water inside the ramekins.

Bake for about 40 minutes, remove the casserole dish and let them cool. Once done the top will resemble a custard instead of liquid.

When ready to eat, sprinkle the turbinado sugar on top of each ramekin and blow torch the top to caramelize the sugar. You may put the ramekins in the oven to broil (for a minute or two) and this will help caramelize the sugar. Keep a close eye on the ramekins while they are in the oven as the high heat will easily burn the sugar instead of caramelize it.

For any that you cannot eat right away you may wrap each ramekin in plastic and refrigerate.

Monday, August 12, 2019

How to Dry Sea Vegetables at Home

How to Dry Sea Vegetables at Home

How do you dry sea vegetables at home without a dehydrator? The process is quite simple. I prefer to spend time initially to clean the sea vegetables to decrease cleaning time later.

I normally wash each strand by running my fingers over it to remove any sand, roots, snails or other ocean debris. After this wash them in cold water several times. You can tie or clip (such as paper clips or clothespins) the end of each strand onto a stick or hanger. It is best that they don't touch but if they do it doesn't matter; they will just take a little longer to dry. You can hang the strands inside or outside your home. In order to eliminate the ocean briny smell from your own home you may prefer to hang them in a garage or outside preferably protected under an umbrella or even a roof. After 1 day of drying in the air and wind you may then bring them inside to hang to complete your drying process. If they are not completely dry the next day you may move them outside to dry another day. Avoid leaving them outside at night since some of the moisture from the air will absorb back into the vegetables. Another great place to dry anything is inside the car. My husband discovered this when he dried self-harvested coffee beans on Maui many years ago! I would let the air and wind partially dry the vegetables until there is no longer any liquid dripping from them then move them into the car to dry. This will prevent your car from having a strong ocean smell. During the winter months the air inside the house tends to be very dry making the drying process easy and quick. During the summer months the humidity level tends to be high. However, if you have an air conditioner and it is on then it will help keep the vegetables dry. Once they are completely dry place them in a glass jar with a piece of desiccant to help remove any extra moisture. I saved the small desiccant pouches from food packages--a great way to recycle them for my sea vegetables!

baby sugar kelp
drying sugar kelp on a hanger under an umbrella
dried sugar kelp

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Green Crab News

There has been a few green crab news since the release of The Green Crab Cookbook! Thank you!

The Block Island Times:
Green Crabs: Bad for the pond, good for the palate 

Edible Boston:
From Menace to Moeche 

Edible South Shore:
Pinching Back: The Battle Agaist Invasive Crabs
Roger Warner's Simple Green Crab Stock

The Boston Globe:
Green crabs are wreaking havoc on our coastal habitat. So let's eat them.

The New York Times:
Meet a New Crab to Eat

Cabbage and Crab Salad

cabbage and crab salad
Recently I was invited by friends to visit their lake house. One of them asked if I could cook something with green crabs. At first I thought she was just teasing. However, when I learned she was serious I made this dish. This salad is simple, light and you can feed a small crowd. I added store-purchased rotisserie chicken for flavors, texture and protein. You can add as many or as few fried green crabs. The choice is yours and when you serve you can add as many green crabs you prefer for each serving. Most of the green crabs in this dish were softies (soft-shells) and the rest were smaller semi-softies (in between soft and hard). I prepared the crabs, dipped them in a whisked egg and dredged them in seasoned corn flour for a little thicker coating. There were about 8 people who got a taste of this salad and they all enjoyed it.

For the sauce you can adjust the seasoning according to your taste--add extra lime juice if you prefer more acidic, fish sauce if you prefer saltier and sugar if you want it sweeter. You can adjust the seasoned flour to your taste. You can taste the flour after you shift or mix everything. The best way is to fry a small crab with the flour and have a taste. 

The "spicy salad mix" migrogreens (broccoli, kale, kohrabi, arugula, cabbage, and mustard) came from Barker's Farm (my local farm). The fresh edible flowers came from my parents' garden and the romaine lettuce came from my neighbors' (Jim and Karen) garden.

Cabbage and Crab Salad


1 rotisserie chicken, removed meat and shredded to bite size
About 1 1/2 lb green cabbage, finely shredded
A few romaine lettuce leaves, cut into bite size
1 medium sized carrot, peeled and shredded or julienned
A small handful of assorted herbs (such as cilantro, mint, perilla, Chinese chives, Thai basil or your preference), hand torn or roughly sliced
1 container (about 4 oz) of spicy sald mix microgreens
Vietnamese Seasoned Fish Sauce to taste
About 20 small to medium sized Fried Soft-Shell Green Crabs
Edible flowers of your choice, garnish (optional)


Gently mix chicken, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, herbs, migrogreens, and season with the sauce. Scatter the fried crabs over the salad and garnish with flowers.

Sunrise Lake, NH (2019)
photo courtesy of my husband, Paul
Since our motor vehicle accident back in September 2018 I am still recovering. The use of my arms and left wrist are limited and I hope in time and with daily physical therapy I will have full use of them again. I was able to use a stand up paddleboard when I visited my friends' lake house and that is a huge accomplishment in the last 11 months! What I learned from all these months of pain and limitation of my body is to have an optimistic attitude--it makes a huge difference in my recuperation.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Crab Salad

crab salad
This summer I am taking full advantage of the freshly picked edible flowers from my parents' organic garden! Choose any greens, herbs and edible flowers that you prefer. The Romaine lettuce came from my neighbors Jim and Karen's garden. I chose several of the largest cooked green crabs and removed their meat. If you have the patience and time by all means add more crab meat. If you have enough crab meat to make crab cakes for this dish that would be even more special! Definitely add the roe if you are lucky to harvest any. These green crabs may be small in comparison to other species but they have the most succulent flesh.

Be sure the fresh flowers you use are all edible and that they have not been sprayed by pesticides. If you are unsure it is best to avoid eating them.

Crab Salad


7-10 young Romaine lettuce leaves, keep whole or cut into bite size pieces
Meat and roe from 3 largest cooked green crabs
5 small shisho (purple) or perilla leaves
Petals from 1-2 chrysanthemum flowers
Petals from 1 bee balm flower
8-10 borage flowers
5-6 viola flowers
2-3 clusters of mustard flowers, break into smaller clumps
3 cilantro flower clusters
1 squash flower, tear or cut into strips
About 2-3 tsp of olive oil
About 2 tsp glaze balsamic (or balsamic vinegar reduction)


Arrange the lettuce, crab meat, shisho and flowers on the plate. Drizzle with oil and balsamic.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Fried Crab Salad

This fried crab salad is inspired by my parents and friends' garden. The colorful edible flowers brighten this dish while adding texture and taste. Select the edible flowers that you prefer. Some people may find that the mustard flowers are too bitter but I actually enjoy their flavor. Be sure the fresh flowers you use are all edible and that they have not been sprayed by pesticides. If you are unsure it is best to avoid eating them.

In order to add extra flour coating to the crabs I dip the crabs in a whisked egg before dredging them in the seasoned flour.

fried crab salad

Fried Crab Salad


5-6 young Romaine lettuce leaves, washed well
1 anchovy, mashed itno small bits
3 Fried Soft-Shell Green Crabs
About 10 borage flowers
About 8 bee balm petals
About 8 marigold petals
About 4 viola flowers
A small handful of cooked corn kernels
About 3 small mustard flower clusters
About 2-3 tsp olive oil
About 1-2 tsp balsamic glaze (or balsamic vinegar reduction)


Arrange the lettuce, anchovy, and fried crabs on a plate. Scatter the flowers and corn kernels over everything. Drizzle oil and balsamic glaze over the salad.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Quick Prep for Soft-Shell Green Crabs

fried soft-shells
Q: Is there a quick prep for soft-shell green crabs?

A: Yes! You can prepare them minimally by removing just the aprons, mouth piece and gills. Leave everything else intact including the eyes. Wash them well in cold water and drain. 

Coat them in your favorite seasoned flour or batter and deep fry. When I make the softies for myself or family/friends this is what I typically do...unless someone can't bare to look at the crabs' eyes!

For this batch (pictured above) I coated the prepared crabs in an egg mixture then the seasoned flour and deep fried until golden brown. I know they are done once their bodies are stiff.

Green Crab Cafe wishes you and your family a happy and safe Independence Day!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Monkfish and Crab Ceviche

If you eat or make ceviche you know that the seafood is usually "cooked" in an acidic liquid such as lime or lemon juice. However, this ceviche is made with steamed monkfish and green crab roe. This is a dish to make if you do not want to eat any raw seafood. If you cook with monkfish you may have noticed an occasional 1-inch string-like worm here and there--which is quite common according to my fisherman friend, Captain Ralph MacDonald of New Hampshire. They are harmlesss when the fish is cooked. When you make this you can adjust the ingredients and season with acid and salt according to your preference and taste. This colorful and delicious ceviche dish makes a great appetizer for a small crowd of 6-8.

This week Dr. Gabriela Bradt of UNH consulted with me to make something using green crabs and fish of the week which happens to be monkfish. She brought this ceviche dish, fried rice and fried soft-shell green crabs to the Farmers' Market in Exeter, New Hampshire for the market customers to sample. She tells me the items were a hit. She and her interns were able to sell some female hard-shell green crabs for those who want to try making ceviche at home with the roe. Dr. Bradt is a pioneer in selling green crabs and bringing green crab prepared foods to the Farmers' Market in the US! It is never easy selling new ingredients, let alone invasive species to the public but today she did it...and some of those brave customers get to experiment with a new food ingredient! This is a remarkable week in green crab history for New Hampshire and the US!

monkfish and crab ceviche

Monkfish and Crab Ceviche


About 1 1/2 lbs monkfish, steamed until opague and tender, diced
About 20-25 female green crabs, steamed and roe removed
1 whole sweet corn, steamed and cut off the kernels
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
About 1/8 small red onion, thinly sliced and cut in half, soaked in cold water
About 1/4 cup of finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
About 2 Tbsp finely chopped scallion, green parts only
Zest from 1 lime
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 to 1 lemon
Salt to taste


Cut the monkfish lengthwise into thinner pieces to cook faster. Steam the fish until it is opaque and you can easily pierce the thickest part of the fish with a fork. Let it cool and dice or cut into small bite size.

Steam the crabs for about 10 minutes. Let them cool and remove the roe.

In the last 3-4 minutes of steaming the crabs add the corn to steam. Remove once cooked and slice off the kernels.

Soak the red onion slices in cold or ice water for about 15-20 minutes. Remove and squeeze out the water. This will help eliminate a strong onion taste.

In a large glass bowl add cut fish, roe, corn kernels, peppers, onion, cilantro, scallion, zest, juices and salt to taste. Gently mix all ingredients and adjust the acidic juices and salt as needed.

Helpful Hints:

*You may make this ahead of time but do not mix the cilantro, scallion, juices and salt until about an hour before you are ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fried Rice

This is an easy dish to make and you can easily adapt it using any type of protein that you prefer. You can even mix different types of meat with seafood such as chicken and fish or shrimp. My mother often makes a delicious batch using chicken, shrimp and Chinese sausage. In this recipe I use monkfish. The beauty about monkfish is that it does not flake or break into small bits when cooked. I used a bag of frozen mixed vegetables for convenience but you can choose any fresh or frozen vegetables that you prefer. This mixed vegetables consist of peas, corn, carrots, green beans and lima beans.

I normally cook my rice in water but for this recipe I use green crab stock for extra flavoring. This time I simmer the stock for 30 minutes for a richer stock. Generally the liquid ratio to the uncooked rice is based on your preference of how dry or wet you want your cooked rice to be, the age of your uncooked rice, and the type of uncooked rice you use. I made my long-grain jasmine white rice a day ahead, fluffed the cooked rice with chopsticks and kept it in the refrigerator after it has been cooled. This way the rice will be a little drier. In my family we make fried rice using leftover rice. 

I always wash my rice in water to remove some of the starch and any non-rice items before I cook it. In the rural part of Vietnam some of the grains are dried outside, sometimes along the road (aka Highway 1). I remember my late grandmother looking through the rice before she cooked and removed non-rice items such as insects, tiny pebbles, or rice husks. Luckily here in the US the purchased rice is often very clean and you can skip this step. You can add either salted or unsalted green crab roe. I prefer the salted crabs but that's because I have some in my kitchen. If you have soft shell crabs you can fry some and garnish your dish.

fried rice
Fried Rice


3 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
2 1/2 cups Simple Green Crab Stock
1 oz Salted Green Crab (Ba Khia) roe, chopped
2 Tbsp canola oil (or another type of your choice)
1/2 cup chopped white or yellow onion
1/2 lb monkfish tail, cut into small bite size
12 oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables (or cut your own)
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/2 to 1 tsp ground black or white pepper


Cook the rice in stock. After it is cooked, fluff it with a fork and let it air dry to cool.

Steam the Salted Green Crab (Ba Khia) for about 8-10 minutes and remove the roe once the crabs are cooled. Set the roe aside.

Heat a large non-stock wok or pan and add oil. Once the oil is hot add onion. Saute the onion until translucent and soft. Add monkfish and saute until it is just cooked or opague. Remove from the wok or pan and set aside. Strain and discard any liquid before using.

Rinse the vegetables and strain if using frozen. Using medium high heat stir in the vegetables in the same wok or pan and add soy sauce and tomato paste. Mix everything well and once the vegetables are cooked gradually add a little of rice. Blend the rice in with the rest of the ingredients. Continue to add more rice until all of the rice is in the pot. Try to blend all the rice in well so there will be no white rice left. Stir in roe, scallion and pepper. Mix everything well. Turn off heat after the roe and scallion are heated through or the scallion is just cooked.

fried rice with sea scallops and steamed vegetables

Friday, May 24, 2019

Sugar Kelp Salad

This is a simple sea vegetable salad inspired by the many Japanese restaurants across the US. Usually the greens are an unnatural but pretty neon green due to food coloring. In this recipe I am using fresh organic tender baby sugar kelp from aqua farmer Catherine Puckett based out of Block Island (Rhode Island). Catherine also raises oysters and traps green crabs. You may contact Catherine directly via email or call her at 401-741-2023.

In order to clean the fresh sugar kelp this is my method. I glide each strip of kelp with my fingers to remove any ocean debris. Rinse all of them several times in more cold water. For this salad I cut each into strips about 6-8 inches long, stack the strips on top of each other, roll them up and cut them with either scissors or a knife to create approximately quarter inch thin strips. Next blanch the strands in boiling water for about a minute. For the stems I keep them in the boiling water for 5 minutes to help tenderize them further. After this strain, rinse them in cold water and let them drain in a colander to remove as much of the liquid as possible. 

Recently I met my husband's PhD advisor, Professor Dinesh O. Shah and his family. Dr. Shah is a brilliant, friendly, kind and energetic man in his 80s who still advises doctoral students in India despite being retired from the University of Florida. He tells me his students are like his family. It is not surprising that students, colleagues, and people from his former village in India all revere him. The village where he grew up honored him with a beautiful grand procession and a road dedication named after him! Check out Dr. Dinesh O Shah Road Dedication Ceremony in Kapadwanj, India!

When we visited him and his family we were invited to a special vegan meal! Dr. Shah's son recently switched to vegan from vegetarian and he did it "cold turkey". I am pleased to see that he seems to be adjusting quite well! Most of them are vegan except for one grandson who is vegetarian. What is the difference between a vegan versus a vegetarian? The vegan eaters cannot consume any products from animals/insects such as cheese, milk or honey. Vegetarian eaters can consume these products. In my Teochew culture there are days during the year when some family members eat vegan food but usually only for a day, on certain religious days.

This dish is vegan but feel free to make it non-vegan by adding cooked meat and/or other seafood such as green crab roe/meat, scallops, shrimp, crayfish, lobster, octopus, and squid. You may use various assortment of sea greens if they are available for texture, presentation and taste. I add the red onion slices for color and flavors but you may certainly omit them. This recipe makes 1-2 servings.

sugar kelp salad

Sugar Kelp Salad


2 1/2 oz fresh baby sugar kelp, cut into approximately 1/4 inch x 6 inch strips
A few thin slices of red onion
1 blade of scallion, green parts only, chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp ginger, grated (may use juice only if you prefer less ginger flavor)
1 tsp garlic, grated
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp crushed sea salt
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds


Blanch the cut kelp in boiling water for about a minute, keep the stems in for 5 minutes. Rinse in cold water. Slice the onion thinly and place the slices in cold water for about 10-15 minutes. Squeeze out the water prior to using.

In a bowl mix scallion, oil, soy, vinegar, ginger, garlic and salt until well blended. Add the blanched kelp, onion slices and seeds. Toss everything to mix well. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste.

sugar kelp salad

Pasta with Kelp and Periwinkles

If you have been following my blog you may have noticed that lately I have started to add some recipes on sea vegetables. Moving forward I will be adding new sub-sections labeled "sea vegetables" and "periwinkles". This recipe has all three ingredients--green crabs, sea vegetables, and periwinkles. It makes 2 generous servings. You may garnish the dish with freshly ground black or white peppers and cheese of your choice.

pasta with kelp and periwinkles

Pasta with Kelp and Periwinkles


3/4 cup (3 1/2 oz) cooked periwinkle meat, washed and drained
8 oz penne or another pasta of your choice, cooked according to package insert
About 1 Tbsp oil (vegetable or another of your choice)
About 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
A few slices of red or white onion (more or less depending on your preference)
4 fresh baby sugar kelp, washed and cut into approximately 6 inch x 1/4 inch strips
1/2 cup half and half or coconut milk
1/2 cup, plus about 1/3 cup Simple Green Crab Stock
1 small bunch of scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce (or according to your taste)


Boil the periwinkles about 5-6 minutes and drain. Once the shells are cooled to handle remove the meat and reserve. Cook the pasta according to the package's instructions, drain and set aside. Heat a pan over medium high heat. Once the pan is hot add oil then garlic and onion. Saute about a minute or until the garlic is slightly golden. Add kelp, periwinkle meat, half and half, and 1/2 cup of stock. Once the liquid starts to boil turn heat down to let the liquid simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the pasta, the rest of the stock (1/3 cup), scallions and season with fish sauce. Saute to coat everything and remove from heat once the pasta is heated thoroughly.

kelp, periwinkle meat, half and half, crab stock

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Stir-Fried Broccoli, Kelp, and Shrimp

Sea vegetables are versatile as a kitchen ingredient. You can add them in pretty much anything even in a stir fry. The young sugar kelp has a pleasant slight crunch when they are fresh.

stir-fried broccoli, kelp, and shrimp
Stir-Fried Broccoli, Kelp, and Shrimp


12 oz prepared broccoli crowns, cut into bite size, washed and drained
1 Tbsp oil (vegetable or your choice of oil)
1 large garlic clove, smashed, chopped
10 large shrimp, peeled, butterflied, de-veined
1 to 1 1/2 oz young sugar kelp with or without stems, cut into 2-3 inches in length
1 recipe of Green Crab Stir-Fried Sauce (see recipe below)


Steam the broccoli for about 5 minutes or until they are are bright in color and the stems are just cooked, remove from heat. In a large pan or wok heat oil and garlic over high heat. Cook about 30 seconds to cook the garlic slightly. Add shrimp and saute about a  minute or until the shrimp curled and slightly cooked. Add the steamed broccoli, kelp and the green crab stir-fried sauce. Stir the contents to coat everything evenly, the kelp turn green and the shrimp are just cooked. Remove and serve hot.

Green Crab Stir-Fry Sauce


1 cup green crab stock (please see Simple Green Crab Stock link)
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce


Mix all ingredients together. May adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Be sure to stir the sauce prior to using.

Crab Cakes

I ate my fair share of crab cakes but many are full of fillers with minimal crab meat. When I have access to fresh crab meat I like to make simple dishes such as crab cakes. This way I get to taste mostly the sweet meat. These 4 crab cakes came from one Jonah crab. The crab was not too meaty but I was able to get 3 ounces of meat. Normally I would chill the cakes in the freezer for about 15 minutes to help bind them so they do not break apart during cooking. This time I had limited time and I placed the whole bowl in the freezer for about 5 minutes and they held their shape. I prefer using panko (Japanese bread crumbs) which is lighter and more airy than the Italian bread crumbs. 

I want to thank Dr. Gabriela Bradt, UNH researcher and NH Community Seafood for the Jonah crab. Also thanks to Catherine Puckett of Oyster Wench Block Island Shellfish Farm & Block Island Kelp for the fresh tender baby sugar kelp! The blanched fresh kelp has a delightful slight crunch.

crab cakes

Crab Cakes


1 chicken egg yolk
About 1 1/2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 scallion, green parts only, chopped
Meat from 1 large cooked Jonah crab (or at least 3 oz from any crab meat)
1/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
About 1 Tbsp of oil (vegetable or your oil of choice) for frying


Mix the yolk, mayonnaise and scallion until blended. Add the crab meat and panko to the mixture and gently mix until blended. Divide the contents into 4 parts and gently mold each part to form a ball. Place the balls in the freezer for about 15 minutes to chill. Heat a non-stick pan with oil over high heat. Once the oil is hot add the balls in the pan, avoid letting the balls touch each other. Gently press each ball down with a spatula. May turn the heat down slightly if the pan gets too hot. Fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden. Flip the cake over and fry for another 2-3 minutes or until golden. Remove and serve with your favorite sauce or salad.

Caper Sauce


About 10 capers, chopped
1 Tbsp mayonnaise
About 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
Chili oil to taste, optional
Sea salt to taste


Mix capers, mayonnaise and lemon juice until well blended. Season with chili oil and salt. May use to drizzle over the crab cakes.

Blanched Baby Sugar Kelp


6-8 baby sugar kelp (preferably less than 1 foot long)
Water for boiling


Wash the sugar kelp well. Gently run your fingers along the kelp to remove any roots or ocean debris. Blanch in boiling water for about 20 seconds and remove. Rinse in cold water and strain. Dab with clean towel to remove excess water if interested.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Scallop Crudo III

Today just seem to be a scallop crudo day at my house! It is impossible to be full by eating a single scallop at a time! And if I am consuming at this rate then I will definitely extend my scallop supply easily until the next scallop season! Thank you, Mike Anderson and his crew of Rimrack Fish for the fresh-off-the-boat sea scallops!

Today I also feel a bit daring to share this abstract piece with you. Don't let the pink liquid scare you. It is from a little of the freshly squeezed blood orange juice! 😀

scallop crudo III
scallop crudo III

Scallop Crudo III


7 thinly sliced English cucumber circles
1 large sea scallop, tough muscle removed and discarded, thinly sliced
5 thinly sliced red onion, soaked in cold water, squeezed out the liquid prior to using
Meat from 1-2 cooked Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia), depending on your preference
Several small pinches of dried lime, lemon, blood orange zest
Several small pinches of finely chopped fresh cilantro
Several small pinches of dried red hot chili peppers
A very small pinch of sea salt
A drizzle of freshly squeezed blood orange juice
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil


Use your imagination and creativity to arrange the ingredients or as per photo. Arrange the cucumber slices in a circle on a plate. Arrange the slices of scallop between the cucumber slices. Use the ends of the scallop slices for the center to add height. Arrange the onion around the center piece. Scatter the crab meat, zest, cilantro, peppers and sea salt on top. Lastly drizzle the entire plate with juice and oil.

Scallop Crudo II

Just one large scallop is enough to create a beautiful and delicious appetizer that will make your family and friends craving for more! Here is another scallop crudo. This time I added a tiny pinch of sea salt scattered over the outer edges of the scallop slices and a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 

If you would like to have some fresh-off-the-boat fresh sea scallops you can visit Rimrack Fish to inquire about their next scallop season! You may contact Enna Chocolate to purchase your chocolate nibs and other tasty chocolate treats from around the world!

scallop crudo II
Scallop Crudo II


1 large sea scallop, tough muscle removed and discarded, sliced thinly
12 thinly sliced red onion, soaked in cold water and squeezed out the liquid prior to using
Meat from 1-2 cooked Salted Green Crab (Ba Khia), depending on your preference
A large pinch of finely pinched fresh cilantro
A large pinch of unsweetened Peruvian chocolate nibs
Several small pinches of dried lime, lemon and blood orange zest
Several small pinches of dried chili peppers
A drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
A very small pinch of sea salt


Arrange the ingredients per photo or use your own creation and imagination. Place the slices of scallop and red onion on your dish. Arrange the salted crab meat, cilantro, chocolate nibs, citric zest and chili peppers. Drizzle lemon juice and oil over everything. Scatter the sea salt on the edges away from the salted crab meat.

Scallop Crudo

I enjoy eating raw scallops especially when they are harvested by my local fisherman, Mike Anderson of Rimrack Fish. The Italians have their version of raw seafood dish known as crudo. The ones that I ate in the past seemed to have some sort of oil added. Here I did not add any but you certainly can drizzle a little of your favorite oil on top for extra flavors.

scallop crudo

Scallop Crudo


1 large scallop, tough muscle removed and discard, sliced thinly against the grain
Meat and roe from 1-2 cooked Salted Green Crab (Ba Khia), depending on how much you prefer
Several thinly slices of red onion, soaked in cold water and squeezed out the liquid
A large pinch of cilantro leaves, finely chopped
A pinch of Peruvian chocolate nibs (from Enna Chocolate)
A small pinch of dried lime zest
A small pinch of dried lemon zest
A small pinch of dried blood orange zest
A small pinch of dried seaweed
A small pinch of dried chili peppers
Drizzle of freshly squeezed lime juice


Thinly slice the scallop against the grain and arrange them on a plate. Arrange the onion slices and salted green crab meat and roe on the plate. Add a large pinch of cilantro, chocolate nibs, and sprinkle on the crumbled citric zest, seaweed and chili peppers. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juice.

Helpful Hints:

*If you are interested in purchasing the Peruvivan chocolate nibs (unsweetened) please contact Enna Chocolate directly.
*If you are interested in purchasing scallops or squid from Rimrack Fish, please contact them directly. Unfortuately the scallop season has just ended as of this month (April 2019).

Friday, April 26, 2019

Scallop and Green Crab Caviar Ceviche

I love making and eating ceviche--mostly because it requires minimal to no cooking time and I can be as creative or not. I am a bit spoiled because I get fresh-off-the-boat sweet jumbo scallops from my local fisherman, Mike Anderson. When they are in season I purchase them, divide them up in smaller bags to freeze so I can enjoy them during the off season. These are the only ones that I always feel safe eating raw. Of course, do take caution when consuming anything raw or partially cooked. If you are going to eat raw seafood you may want to consult your health care provider first.

I have never made ceviche with green crab roe before. This one is special because I used the salted green crab roe or caviar. Since the caviar is already salty I omit adding extra salt. The result is colorful and delicious! Please check out my previous post on Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia).

If you are interested in purchasing fresh scallops from Mike Anderson and his family please visit their Facebook page, FV Rimrack. Sorry, the scallop season has just ended. However, squid season is next!

scallop and green crab caviar ceviche
Scallop and Green Crab Caviar Ceviche


Caviar from 4-6 cooked Salted Green Crabs (Ba Khia)
6 large sea scallops, tough muscles removed, diced into 4-6 pieces depending on size
About 4 segments of blood orange, cut each one into 2-3 pieces
About 10-12 thinly slices of red onion, squeezed out the water prior to using
About 10 fresh blueberries
About 1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
About 1 tsp of chopped chili peppers (optional)
About 1 tsp chopped cilantro leaves
About 1 tsp chopped scallion (green parts only)
A pinch of lime zest, plus more for garnish
A pinch of lemon zest, plus more for garnish
A pinch of blood orange zest, plus more for garnish


Simmer the salted green crabs (use the amount depending on how much roe there are and your preference) for about 10 minutes. Drain them and let them cool completely. Remove the roe and save. Thinly slice the red onion and soak in cold water, squeeze out the water prior to using. Remove the white pith and membranes of a blood orange. Cut each segment into 2-3 pieces. Cut each scallop into 4-6 pieces depending on its size.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently mix. Garnish with extra zest if interested.

Vietnamese Crab and Asparagus Soup (Sup Mang Cua)

Apparently Vietnamese crab and asparagus soup (súp măng cua) is a popular soup eaten on special occasions such as wedding banquets in Vietna...