Savor the Flavors: Delectable Stir-Fried Crab Recipe

It is with great delight that I present to you a recipe that is sure to tantalize your taste buds and leave you longing for more. This Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab Recipe is one of my absolute favorites, and I am certain that it will become a staple in your household as well. Whether you are an experienced cook or a beginner, this recipe is simple to follow and does not require any advanced culinary skills.

Picture succulent crab meat coated in a spicy and savory sauce, perfectly complemented by the freshness of lemongrass, garlic, and serrano chilies. The addition of butter, olive oil, and kosher salt provides a rich depth of flavor that will have your mouth watering with anticipation. The recipe combines the traditional techniques of Vietnamese stir-fry with the delicacy and buttery texture of crab meat for a truly unique and delectable dish.

Not only is this dish a feast for the senses, but it also provides abundant nutritional benefits. Crab meat is renowned for its high protein content and low-fat percentage. This dish also incorporates fresh vegetables such as green onions, gingerroot, and lemongrass which are chock full of vitamins and minerals.

With its quick preparation time and emphasis on fresh ingredients, this recipe offers an excellent opportunity to entertain guests without spending hours in the kitchen. So why not impress your loved ones with this Vietnamese-style spicy crab dish tonight? I can guarantee it will become a firm favorite in no time.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab
Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab

Esteemed reader, I implore you to indulge in this sumptuous dish of Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab that will tantalize your taste buds like no other recipe will. Trust me, as a chef specializing in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I have whipped up countless dishes that have left my customers yearning for more.

This particular recipe boasts a perfect blend of spices- serrano chilies, gingerroot, lemongrass and garlic along with fish sauce and sugar to achieve an intricate balance of sweet, sour and spicy flavors. The fragrant aroma of the dish is enough to whet anyone’s appetite. Moreover, the addition of tomato paste elevates the taste and color of the crab meat cooked to perfection alongside green onions.

This Vietnamese-style spicy crab will leave a lasting impression with its crispy texture giving you an unprecedented combination of flavors packed into one satisfying bite. The recipe can be tweaked slightly, using cellophane or glass noodles in lieu of garlic noodles which pairs perfectly with the tamarind sauce for those who prefer a tangier flavor.

In conclusion, this recipe brings together all the essential elements that make such a dish unforgettable- amazing texture, delightful aroma, and a perfect balance of flavors that are bound to leave your taste buds delighted. Don’t hesitate to try out this dish and allow your taste buds to be taken on an adventure they’ll never forget.

Ingredient List

 Freshly caught crabs from the Vietnamese coast
Freshly caught crabs from the Vietnamese coast

Before we start cooking this Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab Recipe, let’s take a look at the ingredients you’ll need to prepare:

For the Crab:

  • 2 Dungeness crabs (or any large crabs, approximately 2lbs each)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of potato starch (or cornstarch)
  • 6 tablespoons (90ml) vegetable oil (or peanut oil)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed and minced
  • 2 serrano chilies, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  • Juice from half a lime

Optional garnish:

  • Fried garlic and green onions

Note: If you want to add some heat to your crabs, you can also include some tamarind sauce, chili pepper, or glass noodles in your recipe.

The Recipe How-To

 Spicy aromatics create a flavor explosion
Spicy aromatics create a flavor explosion

After gathering all the ingredients, let’s start cooking!

1. Prep the Crabs

  • Clean the crabs and separate the legs and claws from the body.
  • Crack the shells with a hammer or kitchen shears then use a small brush to clean and rinse them thoroughly.

2. Make the Sauce

  • In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon of potato starch together until well combined. Set aside.

3. Prepare the Aromatics

  • Finely chop 2 garlic cloves, a small stalk of lemongrass, and slice 1 or 2 fresh Serrano chilies.
  • Cut some green onions into 2-inch pieces and set aside for later use.

4. Sauté the Aromatics

  • Heat up a wok over high heat then add in 6 tablespoons (90ml) of olive oil or any vegetable oil.
  • Add in the chopped garlic, lemongrass, and sliced chilies then stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.

5. Add Crab to Wok

  • Add in the crab legs and claws into the wok, sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper (muoi tieu), then stir-fry for another minute.

6. Cook Crab Meat

  • After a minute, add in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste then continue to stir-fry for another minute.
  • Pour in the sauce mixture that you have set aside earlier, continue to stir-fry for another few minutes until well-coated on all crab pieces.
  • When it starts to simmer, add in some sliced green onions and continue to stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until the crabs are fully cooked.

7. Plate and Serve

  • Transfer your Vietnamese-style stir-fried crab (cua rang muoi) onto a large serving plate and garnish with more green onion pieces.
  • Best served with steamed rice or garlic noodles (my xao toi).

Enjoy your delicious homemade savory stir-fried crab recipe incorporating aromatic and authentic Vietnamese-style spices and ingredients!

Substitutions and Variations

 Wok and roll with this stir-fry
Wok and roll with this stir-fry

Ah, the possibilities are endless! As with any recipe, you can personalize it according to your taste and what’s available in your pantry or market. Here are a few ideas:

– For the crabs: If you can’t get fresh crabs, frozen ones or even crab meat will do. You can also try using other seafood such as shrimp, prawns or lobster instead.

– Spice level: If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you can omit the serrano chilies or use milder peppers instead. On the other hand, if you love heat, feel free to add more chilies or chili flakes.

– Vegetables: In addition to green onions, you can also stir in other veggies such as bell peppers, snap peas, cabbage or carrots.

– Sauces: Instead of tamarind sauce, you can try using other sauces such as hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce or black bean sauce. Feel free to experiment!

– Noodles: While glass noodles (also known as cellophane noodles) are traditional for this dish, you can use other noodles such as rice noodles (vermicelli), egg noodles (ramen) or even spaghetti.

– Style: If you want to mix things up and try a different style of crab recipe from Southeast Asia, consider making chili crab (popular in Singapore), roasted crab (Cambodian-style) or garlic crab (Filipino-style). Each has its own unique flavor profile and they’re all delicious in their own ways!

There’s no right or wrong way to make Vietnamese stir-fried crabs – it’s all about personal preference and creativity. So grab your wok and experiment away!

Serving and Pairing

 Heat up your kitchen with this fiery crab dish
Heat up your kitchen with this fiery crab dish

My friends, once you have cooked up a batch of Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab, the question arises: what to do with it?

Let me tell you – this dish is versatile and alluring. It can be served with a range of sides or eaten as a standalone dish.

Firstly, I cannot recommend enough that you serve the crab alongside some steamed fragrant rice. The two work in perfect harmony, with the rice soaking up the tangy and spicy flavors of the succulent crab. You could also try serving it alongside some crisp Asian greens such as bok choy or choy sum.

For those of you looking to add some crunch to the dish, why not try serving it with some savory garlic noodles that will add a satisfying texture contrast to the tender crab meat.

Feeling adventurous? Want to take it to the next level? Try experimenting with different types of noodles, such as glass or cellophane noodles – they will absorb all the flavors of the sauce and give your plate more depth.

This dish also pairs perfectly with an ice-cold beer or a crisp white wine. Looking for something with more body? Try pairing with a light red wine like Beaujolais – its fruity notes will notably complement the sweet and salty flavors of the crab.

So, my dears, whether you decide to pair Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab with rice, greens, noodles or a glass of Beaujolais, I guarantee that your guests will be overjoyed!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Vibrant colors and bold flavors, Vietnamese-style
Vibrant colors and bold flavors, Vietnamese-style

Dear foodies,

As an experienced chef, I know that meal prep and planning are as important as the cooking process itself. In the case of stir-fried crab, there are many ways to store it properly and reheat it without compromising its delicious taste and texture.

Firstly, you can easily make the garlic noodles ahead of time, keep them in an airtight container, and store them in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, just soak the noodles in hot water for a few minutes before mixing them with some chopped green onions.

Secondly, stir-fried crabs can also be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Once the crab is cooked and cooled completely, transfer it into a clean airtight container and place it in the fridge until ready to use.

When reheating stir-fried crabs, one of the best options is microwaving. Simply transfer them into a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 1-2 minutes or until hot. Alternatively, you can reheat them on the stovetop by adding a little bit of oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Cook the crabs for about 3-5 minutes while stirring occasionally until heated thoroughly.

Lastly, I would like to remind you not to freeze stir-fried crab as excessive heat or coldness can compromise their crispy texture and juicy flavor. Additionally, do not leave them at room temperature longer than necessary as they can spoil quickly.

I hope these tips are helpful in making your meal prep easier and more enjoyable!

Warm regards,

[Your Name]

Tips for Perfect Results

 Flavorful sauce coats each bite of succulent crab meat
Flavorful sauce coats each bite of succulent crab meat

Now that you’ve mastered the art of stir-frying crab according to my recipe, I can share with you a few tips to ensure perfection with every attempt. These tips will guide and enhance your cooking; ultimately, providing an elevated and satisfying experience.

Firstly, when stir-frying the crabs, it is crucial to make use of high heat. The wok should be hot and smoking before adding any ingredients. This technique allows for the crabs to acquire a crispy texture while retaining their moisture. Furthermore, it is essential that you continuously stir the crabs while cooking to prevent them from overcooking or sticking together.

Secondly, allow room for experimentation and customization in terms of spiciness. If you prefer a more robust flavor profile or palate challenge, add more serrano chilies. If you prefer less spice, omit the chilies altogether; it’s all up to your taste preferences.

Thirdly, add salt and sugar judiciously at various stages during cooking; this will enhance the umami taste of the dish. However, take care not to add too much salt, as this can overpower other flavors or make the dish inedible.

Fourthly, for an even more delectable result, try adding garlic noodles as a side dish. These noodles serve as a perfect complement to the crab and offer a luscious and flavorful option.

Finally, when buying fresh crabs for this recipe, I recommend purchasing Dungeness crab rather than other types of crab because some types may be too small or lack sufficient meat. Ultimately Dungeness Crab is ideal for maximum flavor and meat content.

By following these tips diligently and patiently, your Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab dish will yield perfect results each time – crispy on the outside and succulent on the inside – an ideal meal worth sharing with loved ones.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab Recipe is a delectable dish that will leave your taste buds wanting more. With the combination of serrano chilies, gingerroot, lemongrass, and other traditional Vietnamese ingredients, this recipe truly embodies the essence of Vietnamese cuisine.

Whether you are an experienced chef or a novice cook, this recipe is sure to impress your dinner guests with its bold flavors and beautiful presentation. Plus, with many variations and substitutions available, it is adaptable to different dietary needs and preferences.

So why not give this recipe a try and experience the tantalizing flavors of Vietnamese cuisine? With its easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips for perfect results, you are sure to have success in the kitchen.

In my own personal experience with this recipe, it has quickly become a family favorite and a staple of our cooking repertoire. I highly recommend giving it a try and let it transport you to the streets of Vietnam with every flavorful bite.

Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab

Vietnamese Stir-Fried Crab Recipe

Always on the lookout for great things to do with our wonderful blue crabs. This recipe calls for blue crab but notes that 2 live 3# Dungeness crabs may be substituted. This recipe makes good use of our garden's bounty. Will be adding fresh Thai basil too. Summer alfresco dining with lots of napkins to be served al fresco. Plan to skip the wok & use the deep fat fryer outside on the deck. Thank you Tierso Mar on gourmet-recipes-from-around-the-world!
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vietnamese
Calories 1160.3 kcal


  • 12 -14 blue crabs, live (substituting 2 live Dungeness crabs, about 3 pounds each OK)
  • 1 cup peanut oil, for frying
  • 2 cups flour (seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, fresh (grassy tops discarded and bulbs finely chopped)
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons hot pepper flakes
  • 3 inches gingerroot, fresh, peeled and julienne
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
  • 4 -5 serrano chilies, sliced into thin rounds (optional)


  • Steam crabs then remove the top shells. Pull out spongy gill and opaque matter in center. Flip over & remove the key. Cut each crab into 2 pieces with a mallet or edge of a knife and make a crack (not all the way through) in each crab piece.
  • In large skillet or wok, pour in peanut oil, 1 inch deep. Heat the oil and fry the top shells of the crabs, turning until bright red & crisp. Drain on paper towel and set aside.
  • Dredge crab pieces in seasoned flour. Add pieces to the hot oil and fry over fairly high heat, turning frequently for 5 minutes to 6 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. Discard cooking oil.
  • Place the skillet or wok on medium heat and add butter and olive oil. When butter is melted, add lemon grass, garlic, pepper flakes, ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, mix well and cook for 1 minute. Add salt and sugar and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the crab pieces (not the top shells) and stir, coating the crab pieces with the sauce. Cook, stirring often, for 4 minutes to 5 minutes. Add the green onions and serrano chiles, if using, and remove from heat.
  • For a beautiful presentation, arrange crab pieces back in the shape of the crab. Divide 3/4 of the pan juices over the crabs. Then place the top shells back on top of the arranged pieces, pouring remaining juices on top of the shells. Serve at once.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 297gCalories: 1160.3kcalCarbohydrates: 64.5gProtein: 19.6gFat: 93gSaturated Fat: 23.1gCholesterol: 94.9mgSodium: 5611.9mgFiber: 3.3gSugar: 11.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Crab, Deep Fried, Stir-Fry, Vietnamese
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