Bahamian Crab ‘n’ Rice

Posted On November 27th, 2013 Author Lia Rinaldo

Bahamian Crab 'n' Rice
Adapted from Abaco's Cooking feature from the Abaco Journal and what I recall us doing in the moment...

3 white Land Crabs- In our case, one really BIG one. In your case, sub any crab.
3 or 4 strips Bacon, diced
1/2 Onion, finely sliced- we used a whole onion
1 tsp Thyme
1 stalk Celery, diced- we subbed a carrot and red pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste- we subbed in a whole tomato
2 cups Rice
2 cups Water
Salt & Pepper

*We also added in a bit of butter (1tbsp), whatever seasoning we could find and about 3-4 chopped green onions. In looking around at a bunch of recipes, surprisingly not many have a lot of spice. Sometimes a bit of chopped hot pepper (like a scotch bonnet) or seasoning salt. My feeling is everyone has their own special way of making this dish.

1. Take apart the crab. Remove the large biters (claws) by tapping them sharply close to the body with the back of a large knife. Crack the claws with a mallet. Pull the bodies from the backs of the crabs and remove the fat from the shells and around the bodies, putting it in a small dish. Take care not to puncture the gall bladder while doing this. If you have a gravid female, add the orange egg sacs to the fat. Wash the body after removing the apron and gills, then throw them away with the shells.

2. Render the bacon in a heavy pot over gentle heat then add the onion, carrot and red pepper. When the onion is translucent, add the tomato and blend it in. Add the crab fat, cracked biters, bodies, salt, pepper and thyme and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring often. Pour in the water, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the rice and put the lid on the pot. When the water comes back to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer. Cook the rice without removing the lid for 20 minutes, then turn off heat. Allow the rice to stand, still covered, for at least another 10 minutes. We added in the butter, green onions at the end. We also took the meat out of the shell, and mixed it back in with the rice. This is not typical for this dish.

3. The Crab & Rice can be made a day ahead and allowed to come to room temperature before refrigerating overnight. Allow the rice to warm to room temperature next day then heat it gently until warm through. Many Bahamians claim that Crab 'n' Rice made a day ahead has much more flavour. I recommend it for breakfast.

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