Crab fried rice is possibly the poshest fried rice there is, right under lobster fried rice or abalone fried rice. I have never had the latter, yet. Maybe one day, when we have too much lobster, then we will incorporate the extra of lobster meat with rice. That could be a while.
Back to the crab, another batch of crab meat from my auntie. Leftover from her Christmas crab and corn soup (recipe here) was sent over to our house and mother thought it would be perfect to use up leftover rice.
There are two ways of cooking fried rice. When we don’t have the “good” ingredients, such as chicken meat or seafood, the spices (such as garlic, shallots, chilies) are ground and stir-fried till fragrant. That would mask the plain rice pretty nicely. This trick is used by street vendors to sell inexpensive fried rice.
When there is plenty of meat or seafood to be fried with the rice, the spices are chopped finely and then stir-fried quickly before the meat is added into the wok. This way, the spices are there to enhance the meat and rice, instead of overpowering and making up for the lack of fancy stuff. This dish is the fancy fried rice.
The perfect rice would be cold day old rice. We use medium grain rice and the starch content of this type of rice is the perfect to be fried. Short grain rice is too starchy and the long grain doesn’t have enough starch to be fried. If the rice stuck together into one big lump, loosen them up with a fork.
Some cooked crab meat.
Chopped red chilies and whole Thai bird’s eye chili. Use less amount if you don’t like spicy food.
Chopped Chinese celery. We use the whole thing, from the bottom stalk to the leafy part. Nothing go to waste.
Chopped spring onions, again, we use the whole thing. The whole white and green part.
The secret to good and fragrant Indonesian-style fried rice is the margarine! Have you ever wonder why the fried rice you make at home taste nothing like the ones you had in cheap Indonesian restaurants or street hawkers? They use a lot of margarine! They are added during the final step to give the rice that nice gloss and buttery flavor. You have to try it to believe it. If you have no margarine, use butter, but only half the amount called for. You will notice the difference right away!
Heat up cooking oil in a wok over high heat.
Stir-fry garlic quickly until fragrant.
Toss in the chilies. First contact of chilies with hot oil will release the heat of chilies almost instantaneously. Stay away from the burst of heat. I always sneeze during this stage. It relieves my sinus too! Work quickly to avoid the garlic to burn. If the heat is uncontrollable, lower the heat immediately.
Toss in crab meat. Mix well with the other ingredients.
Add the rice.
And chopped celery and spring onions.
Season with soy sauce.
And sweet soy sauce (or kecap manis).
Some salt and pepper.
Continue frying over high heat. Use the spatula to push the rice to the bottom of the wok and turn the bottom rice to the top and continue cooking using the same movement. Press down, lift up, and press down and lift up. Work until the grains of rice fluff up,
When all the seasonings are mixed well and distributed to all grains of rice, toss in margarine.
When everything is mixed well, the fried rice is ready.
Serve with some sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and garnish with lettuce.
Crab Fried Rice, Nasi Goreng Kepiting
1/4 cup cooking oil
5 Thai bird's eye chilies
250 g crab meat, cooked
1 kg cooked rice, day-old
1 Chinese celery
4 stalks spring onion
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp Indonesian kecap manis, sweet soy sauce
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
90 g margarine, or unsalted butter
Heat cooking oil in a wok. Stir-fry garlic until fragrant.
Add chopped chilies and whole Thai bird's eye chilies. Cook quickly over high heat for one minute.
Toss in crab meat and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add rice, spring onions and chopped celery. Mix well.
Season with soy sauce and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce). Add salt and pepper. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
Toss in margarine. Mix well.
Remove from heat and serve warm.