If you’ve ever had Thanh Long/Crustacean roast crab and garlic noodles, you know that they are heaven on a plate, totally yummy, artery clogging, butter and garlic and crab deliciousness. Amazing. The problem is that the crab is upwards of $40, and the noodles another $10 or so, so dinner here isn’t cheap at the best of times. For Valentine’s day, we decided we would try to make some Thanh Long inspired crab and noodles at home. We found this recipe (also the source for the beautiful and drool inspiring photo, above) online. This is not the official restaurant recipe, but the recipe of someone trying to duplicate the ‘super secret’ tricks of the An family, with their beautiful food.
We like to get our crab live at a local Asian market. The closest market to us sold their last three crabs as we waited in line, so we ended up driving to a nicer, larger market down in Dublin. Much nicer market, but the crab was also $2 more per pound. Even then, all three crabs were less than one at Thanh Long, so it was OK. Curtis Stone says that if you put the crabs in the freezer before boiling them, they go into a stupor of sorts, and hopefully don’t suffer as much. Here’s Ted taking an angry crab out of the freezer.
After cooking and cleaning the crabs, it’s time to give them the butter treatment. Mmmm. Butter. 3 sticks for 3 crabs. I know.
1 lb fresh noodles
3 cloves garlic (pounded)
Rinse the noodles with cold water and set aside. Heat up a pot of water and let it boil. Boil the noodles in the hot water until they are done, drain the water, and set aside to cool down the noodles.
In a pan, saute the garlic with the olive oil in medium heat. The purpose is to infuse the olive oil with garlicky flavor. Discard the garlic and then add in 4 tablespoons of butter and turn the heat to low. Add in the chicken bouillon powder, garlic powder, oyster sauce and blend well. Set aside to let it cool.
Once the garlic mixture is cool and the noodles are cool at room temperature, pour the garlic mixture over the noodles and toss them together to blend well. Add in the grated Parmesan cheese, toss well, and serve immediately.
Crustacean-inspired Roasted Crab Recipe
1 Dungeness Crab (about 2 lbs)
1 stick unsalted butter/8 tablespoons
3-4 cloves garlic (chopped coarsely)
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
2 teaspoons black pepper (cracked using a mortar and pestle)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Clean and chop the crab into small pieces. Heat up the butter in a wok (between medium to low heat) and saute the garlic until aromatic, but not brown. Add in the black peppers, chicken bouillon powder, and then add in the crab and stir well. Add in the sugar and cook the crab until half done.
Dish out and bake it in the oven at 350 degree F for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot with garlic noodles.
I know, that’s a lot of butter. Hold onto your heart. At one crab per person around here, that means one stick of butter per person, just for the crab. But don’t worry, most of it stays in the pan. The crab just has to soak in it whilst in the oven, to soak up those buttery, garlicky, black pepper flavors. Oh dear, so good. So. Good.
Funny side note: We were imagining a world in which we could eat this meal every night for dinner. Every. Night. Then we started thinking about the butter involved, and we imagined the waiter putting the crab and noodles down in front of us, night after night, finally saying, with a cheerful smile, “You’re gonna die!”