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Crabby and lovin' it

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What's not to like about a crab boil? Place seafood and a bunch of extras into a pot of seasoned poaching liquid, remove them when cooked, place on newspapers and get cracking.
    Well, there is one step in the process that isn't so pleasant: For the best flavour, the crabs have to be fresh and they must go into the pot alive. Put them to sleep in the freezer or iced water before cooking.
    There's really not much to do to enjoy a crab boil. The toughest part is probably putting down enough newspaper for all the cracked shells and discarded skin. The corn needs to be husked, but the seafood goes into the pot innards and all. Onions can be added to the poaching liquid for added flavour but since the broth isn't drunk, unless one wants to, the onions can go in with their skins on.
The brand of seasoning we used for the crab boil. The whole mesh bag of spices is put into a pot of water.
    We had the crab boil when Jer was over from Malaysia for a business meeting at his company's headquarters in Silicon Valley so it just happened that there were three Ragavans in San Jose at one time. We had just had a brunch of dim sum at home and then cousin Philip, who had driven over from his home five minutes away, decides that he wants to have a crab boil. So he goes out to get the blue crabs, prawns and crab boil seasoning and at 2pm, with the dim sum hardly digested, we sat down to another meal. Talk about eating too much!
Corn and red potatoes are traditional extras, but not the Vietnamese beef balls
    Spicy andouille sausages are the traditional addition to the mix of sides, but Philip is fond of Vietnamese beef balls so we used those instead. I didn't think they looked very appealing, but they tasted good.

Scoop out the seafood and sides from the poaching liquid
    My fingers smelled of seafood for hours after the crab boil. But with the fantastic frozen strawberry margarita that brother-in-law Keith had made in my hand, who could be bothered with smelly fingers.

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