Recipe courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson

Crab Fried Rice

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As a young chef just starting out in New York, I had limited time and money. One of my favorite things to do on my rare days off was to Rollerblade down to Chinatown and explore the amazing ingredients in the markets. While I was there, I would usually get a bowl of fried rice, which was warm, comforting, and filling. In those days, I couldn't afford to get it with a luxe ingredient like crab--I added that later on. By including it in a simple bowl of fried rice, I'm reminded how one special ingredient can make an ordinary dish extraordinary.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry leaves, sausage, and curry powder and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes, or until very fragrant.
  2. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until all the rice is separated into grains. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Combine the soy sauce, sambal oelek, sugar, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small cup, then add it to the rice. Cook, stirring, for another minute.
  4. Pour the eggs over the rice and let them sit for about a minute. Stir the eggs into the rice and turn off the heat (you're not making scrambled eggs; you just want the eggs to make the rice creamy).
  5. Fold in the scallions and half of the crabmeat. Let sit for another minute. Taste the rice and season it with salt and pepper or more soy sauce.
  6. Spoon the rice onto a platter. Scatter the remaining crab and the cilantro over the top and garnish with the lime wedges. Set out a plate of lettuce leaves so you can spoon rice into the leaves, wrap, and enjoy.

Cook’s Note

Prepping Lemongrass: Lemongrass doesn’t give up its flavor easily. You have to be brutal with it. Trim off the root, cut off the top two-thirds, and pull off the tough two outer layers. Then smash--and I mean smash--the core with the heel of a chef's knife, breaking down as many of the fibers as possible. Once you've done that, you can chop the lemongrass. Don't throw the trimmings away. Keep them in the freezer and use them for stock--especially fish or shrimp stock--or tea. Look for fresh curry leaves--which add a warm, slightly bitter, slightly citrusy flavor--in specialty and Indian markets. They freeze beautifully. You can substitute the zest of 1/2 lime and 1/4 teaspoon minced fresh mint in this recipe. Sambal oelek, a Southeast Asian chile paste, is available in the Asian section of many markets.

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