The most important part of the national dish of the Bahamas. Eaten almost everyday with steamed Nassau grouper, coleslaw and fried plaintain especially between the months of June and August. This recipe will prove challenging for those unfamiliar with how to prepare the land crabs.... but it tastes like manna ... intensely delectable experience for your taste buds!
- 5 white land crabs or 7 black land crabs, cleaned,segmented,fat removed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or corn oil
- 1 white onion or yellow onion, finely diced
- 2½ tablespoons dried thyme
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
- ½ scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped with or w/out seeds (optional)
- ½ cup tomato paste
- 5 cups hot water
- 2 cups parboiled long-grain rice or 2½ cups long-grain rice
- Wash live crabs under the tap using a toothbrush to wash sand from under band and from between toes until completely clean.
- Turn crab with eyes away, upside down, slipping a blunt knife (a butter knife is ideal) between the shell's seam, push upward to separate the crab's shell in two.
- Be careful not to push the knife too far (the gall sac is in the direct path of the knife!).
- Pull apart.
- Scoop the fat from both sides of the shell into a bowl using the knife or a spoon.
- Discard the empty half shell,band,mouth,gills and all other remaining internal organs,leaving behind the toes of the crab.
- Break the two segments in half by holding each half securely and snapping apart.
- This can also be done by chopping the segment with a cleaver.
- Wash the toe segments under the tap and put them in the bowl with the fat.
- This process is to be repeated until each crab is processed.
- Place a large pot over medium high heat, adding the vegetable/corn oil.
- Allow the oil to heat until a drop of water sizzles when dripped in the oil.
- Add onion, salt, black pepper, seasoned salt, thyme, Scotch bonnet and stir.
- Saute ingredients until onion is transparent, stirring constantly,about 3 to five minutes.
- Add crab fat and segments, saute, stirring constantly until fat is liquid, about 7 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, stir ingredients together for another 5 minutes.
- Add water.
- Stir ingredients with the water,taste, adjust salt to taste,bring to a slow simmer.
- Gently pour rice into pot, stirring slowly to ensure even distribution of the rice in the liquid.
- Turn heat down to low and cover pot with a tight-fitting lid to prevent steam from escaping.
- Cook for about 20 – 25 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
- Do not lift lid while cooking.
- Turn heat off and let rice stand covered for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff and serve hot.