Bahamian Crab n Rice
It's the official start of Crab Season in The Bahamas! That's right. On Father's Day Crab Season is open and Bahamians will say in more ways than one. LOL. As I scrolled down my timeline, I saw PLATES and PLATES of crab and rice. Therefore, I also, too, as well made my plate of crab and rice. Watch the How-To video here 👇
The truth is, Crab and rice is indeed a treat! It's difficult to deny how delicious it is, especially if you enjoy the tender taste of crab meat. If you have not one care in the world, you will beat that crab bad any time, anywhere; no bib, nothing. As a matter of fact, I've seen women (read Cara from Amani Hair) remove her wig to eat crab. That's how serious it is.
Personally, I feel like crab and rice is something that one should eat at home. You MUST savor the experience of biting into the crab shell, and picking the meat out of the body; feel the crunch and let the sweet, juicy prize that is found in each morsel melt in your mouth. Trust me, if you know, you know.
Here's how you can make your own crab n rice. First, get your ingredients.
This ingredient list can feed between 6 to 8 persons if you share according to recommended serving sizes. Traditionally, Bahamians serve portions large enough for people to eat 3 portions in one sitting. This recipe een fa dat. Two cups of cooked rice should be able to feed 6 to 8 people at 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup rice per person respectively. Cook the rice out properly, and share it to stay in budget and portion size. If you're watching your weight and your pockets, this philosophy may work well for you, but that's my suggestion. Crab and rice can get expensive if you're not careful.
First, set your stove to medium heat then add about 2 tablespoons of oil. Then add the finely diced and minced pork fat back and salt beef. Let that render until you can see the salt brown at the bottom of the pot. This is when you add the aromatics. Aromatics are traditionally onion, celery, sweet pepper and garlic. As they sweat, they fill the kitchen with the sweetest smell.
When aromatics become almost translucent, add the tomatoes, dried thyme and bayleaf. After the tomatoes have broken down, mix in the tomato paste and let it simmer. Keep in mind the sove should be at medium low heat. You can raise the temperature, but keep in mind that you don't want the food to burn and you don't want to rush the process because it takes time to develop the flavors of he food.
Next, add your crab fat. Good crab fat is a golden yellow and should not have a real smell. It should not be rancid (rank in Bahamian terms) or high. Stir the crab fat until it turns dark brown. Take the crab body pieces and add them to the pot. Some people crack the biters to make them easy to eat when served. You may want to do this as well.
This is when you add water. You can use boiling water OR for more flavor, use your favorite chicken, fish or vegetable broth. In the YouTube video, I used 2 cups of water, begin with 1 1/2 cups of water and add more as you need it. You can also use any rice that you like, but if you're a beginner and dont mind the taste of parboied rice, believe me when I say it will make the entire process that much easier.
Bring the pot to a boil and then turn the stove down to medium low heat. Ensure that the pot is covered securely and let the rice simmer until the broth is all but gone. When you can see the rice, which should still be opaque with a translucent frame, turn the stove down to low, cover and let the rice steam. Midway through, stir the pot just to ensure that the rice at the bottom of the pot is not overcooking.
Turn the stove off, and fluff the rice with a fork. This will again, release some of the steam and keep the rice from being friendly. Keep in mind the crab fat and oil is different from cooking the rice in broth; the consistency is different. it's more dense so you have to adjust the way you deal with the rice in order to get the consistency you want. Believe me, it does take some finesse.
You've got this though! I served this dish with blackened snapper and mango ssalsa on a bed of greens. If you love the person you're with, make them crab and rice; unless they're allergic... in which case try something else.