Friday, May 22, 2015

Crab Fried Rice

Last Year's Post: Edamame Spread
Two Years Ago:  Sausage Sliders with Broccoli Rabe Pesto

There are usually several drawbacks to crab fried rice that you'll find in a restaurant: it contains large amounts of oil and sodium, but very little crab (and what's there is usually claw meat rather than lump crab).  Making your own solves all three, plus you can bump up the nutritional value by adding lots of veggies.  I like LOTS of crab so I did some investigating to discover where to buy the best crab without breaking the bank.  Outside of buying, cooking and shelling crabs yourself, I found the best source to be Costco.  They carry 1 pound tubs of lump crab for around $18, which is an excellent price compared to the smaller cans of crab most grocery stores carry.  (You can find the crab near the meat and deli area at Costco typically.  Not by the tires, underwear, or swing sets.  I love Costco.) It's worth it to check your local sources, especially if you have a good seafood market.  The crab makes all the difference.

Be aware that the rice needs to be cooked and refrigerated for at least several hours, so plan ahead or buy some at the Asian takeout counter in your grocery store.  The ingredient list may look a little long, but after you prep the ingredients it takes all of 10 minutes to stir-fry.  Prepping will take about 20 minutes.  The asparagus can be blanched while you're chopping (multi-tasking is a wonderful thing), and as you finish prepping each ingredient place it in its own little bowl so when you actually start cooking all you have to do is toss things into the pan.

This recipe calls for low-sodium soy sauce, so be sure to taste the rice right before serving to see if it needs a little more salt.  Or, let everyone season to their taste at the table.  And it only calls for a small amount of vegetable oil.  Control the sodium and fat, and bump up the veggies and crab for a better crab fried rice than you could get in any restaurant.

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Crab Fried Rice
Serves 4

Note: the rice should be cooked and refrigerated for several hours or overnight, so plan ahead.

1 cup uncooked jasmine rice
Pinch ground white pepper
Pinch granulated sugar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 cup asparagus tips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large eggs
¼ small white onion, finely chopped
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
1 clove of garlic, minced
5 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced and divided
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 jalapeno, stemmed and seeds removed, minced
2 radishes, chopped
½ medium cucumber, thinly sliced into rounds
1 medium tomato--cored, halved and thinly sliced 

Bring 1 ¾ cups of water to a boil in a saucepan, then add the rice and stir.  Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Set aside to cool, then refrigerate covered for several hours or overnight.

Combine the pepper, sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl.  Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and drop in the asparagus tips.  Cook 2-3 minutes (depending on size) until crisp-tender, then immediately drop into a bowl of ice water to shock.  Drain and set aside. 

At this point you’re ready to start stir-frying, so be sure all ingredients are prepped and ready in small bowls because the process moves fast. Remove the rice from the refrigerator and fluff with a fork to separate any clumps before starting.

In a medium nonstick skillet or wok set over medium-high heat, add the oil and heat until shimmering, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs to the skillet and stir constantly to scramble the eggs, cooking until the egg whites are set, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked rice, sauce mixture, and garlic and stir to combine. Add half of the scallions, peas, asparagus tips, jalapeno, radishes and crab.  Cook, tossing frequently for about 3 minutes, until the rice and crab are heated through and the sauce is incorporated.  Season to taste with salt and additional pepper.

Divide the fried rice between serving bowls and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of scallions. Serve the fried rice alongside the sliced cucumbers and tomatoes.

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