Crabs Pisang Susu style

Fresh crabs! Crazy beautiful and full of life. Well not anymore… dinner time ;-). We’re visiting our friends in Scotland and they live next to the sea. When the boat with fish comes back in the morning, they just walk over to the harbour and get some fresh, amazingly tasty crabs. Here they are (still alive).

Today I make our crabs with a coconut and ginger sauce. Here’s how I do it.


4 middle sized crabs
6 shallots
3 cloves of garlic
4 centimeters of fresh ginger
2 red peppers
2 teaspoons of curcumin
1 teaspoon of black pepper
juice of 1 lime
fresh coriander
one can of coconut milk
one (big) teaspoon of trassi or any other shrimp paste


Our 4 crabs are still alive, ofcourse. I add a tablespoon of salt to the water. I bring the water to the boil and cook them over high heat for about 5 minutes each.

I rinse them with cold water, just to stop them from overcooking. They are not done yet, not at all, but they are dead. Now I cut them into big chunks. Water pours out. That’s fine. Some of it I keep to add to the broth later.

Now I cut my shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli peppers.

I use Thai shrimp paste, but Indonesian trassi is perfect as well. I just need a teaspoon of shrimp paste. It is pretty strong.

I sauté the garlic, onions, chili peppers and ginger. I add some black pepper too and at the end the teaspoon of curcumin. It turns the bumbu (spice base) into a lovely yellow color.

I add my onions mix to the chopped up crab. Now they can suck up all the lovely flavors. I add to this one can of coconut milk and some of the broth I cooked the crab in before. I make sure 1/3 of the pan is filled with broth. I put on the lid and give it a stir once in a while. I boil it for about 15 minutes on high heat and then the crabs are done.

I take them out and let the sauce reduce for about 10 minutes. I add the juice of lime to it. I serve the sauce separately to pour over the crab meat.

The crabs have sucked up the lovely broth. I serve them with white rice and lalab with tomato. Enak sekali!

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