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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Nutribullet green Thai curry paste

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As you may have noticed from recent posts I LOVE MY NUTRIBULLET! I use it daily for breakfast smoothies but am finding more and more uses for it. One of my favourites is making fresh green Thai curry paste.

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In my paste I use tiny Thai chillies, garlic, onion, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, frozen spinach for an extra hit of goodness, a large bunch of corriander (cilantro), fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, oh and of course salt and black pepper.

I literally throw all the paste ingredients into the nutribullet, some of them frozen, add a splash of water to help it along a bit and blitz it up.

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Once blitzed, cook out the paste in a saucepan with coconut oil for a few minutes before adding in a can of coconut milk. Let it simmer, stiring regularly, for about half an hour, then add in veggies of your choice.

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On this occasion I added baby corn, red pepper and courgette, but you can add pretty much whatever you fancy. I add the veg at this point because I like them crunchy, but you could add them earlier if you wish. After a couple of minutes add some prawns in. They’ll only take a couple of minutes to cook. Check the seasoning and add in some fresh lime juice to make all those amazing flavours sing. Serve with steamed basmati rice and sprinkle with chopped coriander. Although not traditional Thai cuisine we also had naan bread. Yummy!

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Thai Massaman Curry

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My sister lived in Thailand a few years back and raved about this curry. On her return she cooked it for me and my love for this hot, yet creamy, crunchy taste sensation was born. I’ve tried a a few different shop bought pastes, but none of them compared to the one we got from from the only Thai restaurant in our town… Until now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making pastes from scratch, but there’s a time and place for this, and Friday evening, with an over tired toddler, a stressed out husband who’s trying to prepare for Sunday’s service as well as write his final assignment for this year’s uni deadline in six days time, and a mummy, who for one reason or another, is feeling more frazzled than usual, is not the time to be lovingly grinding and chopping and whizzing to make a homemade paste. Cue the new tub I discovered at the supermarket.

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I love the fact I can’t read half the info on the packaging. It’s more authentic,  and lures me into thinking it’s going to taste better than the British versions. In this case it was true.  I fried off the paste in the Thai and wild garlic infused coconut oil I made the other day, then added in a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, some tamarind paste and a tablespoon of soft dark sugar (in liu of palm sugar), a can of coconut milk some chicken (although traditionally beef or lamb is used, I just didn’t have any to hand), and then some chunky chopped peppers and onions. I added them in half way through so they retained a bit of crunch.

Just before serving I threw in a handful of chopped coriander retaining a bit for a garnish. Serve with steamed basmati rice, a sprinkling of coriander and a small handful of peanuts.

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It was delicious, and certainly rivaled the one our Thai restaurant makes.