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Salt Baked Crab: A Delicious Seafood Delight

Salt baked crab is a popular seafood dish that is enjoyed in many parts of the world, especially in Singapore and Malaysia. This dish is not only delicious but also simple to prepare, making it a great option for those who want to impress their guests with a tasty dish without spending hours in the kitchen.

To prepare salt baked crab, you will need a few basic ingredients, including coarse salt, egg whites, and fresh crab.

The first step is to mix the salt and egg whites together to form a paste, which will be used to encase the crab.

The crab is then baked in the oven until it is cooked through and the salt crust has formed a hard shell around it.

Once the crab is ready, it can be served hot and enjoyed with a variety of sides, such as steamed rice or stir-fried vegetables. If you are a seafood lover, salt baked crab is definitely a dish that you should try at least once.

Key Takeaways

  • Salt baked crab is a popular seafood dish that is enjoyed in many parts of the world, especially in Singapore and Malaysia.
  • To prepare salt baked crab, you will need a few basic ingredients, including coarse salt, egg whites, and fresh crab.
  • Once the crab is ready, it can be served hot and enjoyed with a variety of sides, such as steamed rice or stir-fried vegetables.

Preparing the Salt Baked Crab

A crab is being coated in a thick layer of salt, ready to be baked. The crab is positioned on a bed of salt in a baking dish, surrounded by various herbs and spices

To make the perfect salt baked crab, you need to follow a few simple steps. This section will guide you through the process of selecting the right crab, creating the salt crust, and mixing in flavour enhancers.

Selecting the Right Crab

The first step in preparing a salt baked crab is to select the right crab.

Mud crabs are the best choice for this recipe as they have a sweet and succulent meat that is perfect for baking.

Make sure to choose crabs that are alive and active to ensure freshness. The crabs should also be heavy for their size, indicating that they are meaty and full of flavour.

Creating the Salt Crust

To create the salt crust, you will need a mixture of salt, egg yolks, bay leaves, and butter. Mix these ingredients together until they form a thick paste.

The salt crust will help to lock in the moisture of the crab and infuse it with a delicious salty flavour.

Mixing in Flavour Enhancers

To add extra flavour to your salt baked crab, you can mix in some garlic and pepper to the salt crust.

Crush a few garlic cloves and mix them into the salt crust along with some freshly ground black pepper.

This will give your crab a delicious garlicky and peppery flavour that will complement the sweetness of the crab meat.

Cooking and Serving

A chef prepares and serves a salt-baked crab on a platter

Baking the Crab

To cook a salt-baked crab, preheat your oven to 200°C.

While the oven heats up, prepare the salt crust by combining white rock salt, pink Himalayan rock salt, and water in a bowl.

Place the crab on a baking tray lined with baking paper and cover it with sheets of kombu. Then, press the salt mixture all over the crab until it is completely covered.

Bake the crab for 35 minutes until it is just cooked, then set it aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Cracking the Salt Crust

Once the crab has rested, crack the salt crust with a mallet or a rolling pin. Be careful not to break the crab's shell.

Remove the salt crust and discard it. Then, remove the crab's shell and clean out the gills and guts.

Cut the crab into pieces and arrange them on a platter.

Accompaniments and Pairings

Salt-baked crab is best served with sourdough baguette, aioli, and lemon slices.

The sourdough bread is perfect for soaking up the crab's juices, while the aioli adds creaminess and tanginess to the dish.

You can also pair the salt-baked crab with a light white wine or a crisp beer.

If you're in Singapore, head over to Ga Hock Seafood on Upper Bukit Timah Road to try their famous salt-baked crabs. They serve two large crabs for a price of $130.

However, if you prefer to make it at home, the ingredients are easily accessible and the recipe is simple to follow.

Frequently Asked Questions

A whole crab encased in a thick layer of salt, cracked open to reveal succulent, steaming meat within

What's the best way to prepare a salt baked crab at home?

Preparing a salt baked crab at home is relatively easy.

First, you need to clean the crab thoroughly and remove the gills and other inedible parts.

Then, you need to mix salt and other seasonings to create a crust. After that, you need to cover the crab with the crust and bake it in the oven. For a more detailed recipe, check out this video.

Can you share a traditional Chinese salt baked crab recipe?

Yes, here is a traditional Chinese salt baked crab recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 live mud crabs
  • 1kg coarse sea salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Clean the crabs and remove the gills and other inedible parts.
  2. Mix the sea salt and egg whites in a bowl.
  3. Stuff the crabs with the ginger, garlic, chilli, and spring onion.
  4. Mix the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil in a bowl.
  5. Pour the sauce over the crabs.
  6. Cover the crabs with the salt mixture.
  7. Bake the crabs in the oven at 180°C for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Crack open the salt crust and serve the crabs hot.

How long does it typically take to cook a crab in the oven?

The cooking time for a crab in the oven depends on the size and type of the crab. As a general rule, it takes about 20-25 minutes to cook a medium-sized crab at 180°C.

What type of salt yields the best results when baking crabs?

Coarse sea salt is the best type of salt to use when baking crabs. The coarse texture allows for better heat distribution and helps to create a crust that seals in the moisture of the crab.

Are there any special techniques for baking mud crabs with salt?

Mud crabs are best baked with salt using a traditional Chinese method.

The crabs are stuffed with aromatic ingredients such as ginger, garlic, and chilli, and then covered with a salt crust. The salt crust helps to seal in the moisture of the crab and infuse it with flavour.

What are some tips for ensuring a salt baked crab turns out flavourful and moist?

To ensure that your salt baked crab turns out flavourful and moist, make sure to use fresh, live crabs. Also, be sure to clean the crabs thoroughly and remove the inedible parts.

Stuff the crabs with aromatic ingredients such as ginger, garlic, and chilli to infuse them with flavour. Finally, be sure to cover the crabs with a thick layer of salt crust to seal in the moisture and prevent them from drying out.