Thai Inspired Crab Noodle Soup

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Having just returned from my parent’s home in beautiful Pembrokeshire, my freezer is now stocked with a plethora of home-caught crustaceans courtesy of my fisherman father. He put the boat to sea for the season while we were there, and P and I were on board for the first lobster pot pull up! Here she is enjoying the ride.

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I decided to dress one of the edible crabs as well as a spider crab to use some of the white meat in this humble yet incredibly satisfying crab noodle soup.

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Firstly, dress the crabs. If you’re unsure how to do this Delia’s step by step photographic instructions will guide you through it. The most important thing to remember is don’t eat the gills, or dead man’s fingers as they’re more commonly known. Although not actually poisonous, they’re very tough and hard to digest.

Once you have a bowl of nice white flakes of meat in front of you you’re ready to proceed with the soup.

Firstly, I boiled the shells in a pan of water for a good hour to give me a nice light stock.

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I drained the boiling stock, through a sieve and into a jug which had a bundle of flat rice noodles in it. The reason for soaking the noodles in stock rather than plain water is because, in my opinion, it allows them to absorb extra flavour as they soften.

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While the noodles were soaking I fried off some finely minced lemongrass, galangal, garlic and shallots in a little coconut oil.

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Once softened I added a couple of minced Thai chillis (don’t go overboard as you don’t want to drown out sweet and subtle flavour of the crab).  Once the noodles were soft, I fished them out of the stock and put them in a bowl before pouring the stock into the pan. At this point I added a tablespoon each of fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and light soy sauce, some lime leaves, a small chunk of rock sugar and about 100ml coconut milk. Simmer to allow the flavours to get to know each other before seasoning further with lime juice, salt and pepper. For extra protein I threw in a handful of frozen prawns (fresh would be best in this instance, but unfortunately I only had cooked in) and some of the crab meat.

Once I’d ladelled the broth over the noodles, Thai basil, chopped coriander, spring onions and a sprinkling of red chilli finished it off nicely. Delicious! Even our 5 year old enjoyed it!

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Sack off the sarnie

I love a good sandwich (or sarnie as us Brits like to call them), as much as the next person, but I don’t, and quite frankly wouldn’t like to have to, eat them on a daily basis. My lunchtime repertoire generally includes homemade soups, fresh eggs from the farm down the lane, or an interesting salad. However, lately I can’t seem to get enough of these little beauties…
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Rice rolls stuffed with salad, prawns and hot sauce. Traditionally there would be rice noodles in there as well, but for the carb conscious there’s no reason why they can’t be omitted.

The variations of what you fill them with is endless. Shredded chicken, pork, tofu, fish, avocado, chillis, raw crunchy veg, salad. The choice is yours. I would always suggest having a couple of aromatic herbs in there to give them a real flavour boost. I generally use fresh mint and coriander.

This time I used shredded crunchy romane lettuce, mixed salad leaves, sliced spring onions, coriander, mint and prawns.
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In this house we’re also big fans of this Itsu hot sauce…. Delicious!
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I get my spring roll wrappers from our local Asian supermarket. They only require dunking in hot water for a couple of seconds then they’re ready to roll!
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Start layering up the filing along one side of the rice roll.
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When you’re happy with your fillings roll up tightly, tucking the ends in as you go.
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There you go! Easy as a sandwich but way more interesting! Depending on your appetite I’d recommend three as a lunch portion. Enjoy!