Stuffed Crab Shell with Royal Red Shrimp, Green Papaya, Chile, and Peanut

“It started with a love for rice vinegar and sambal oelek (a spicy chile paste). At Restaurant August, we play with crab and shrimp for an amuse-bouche. Then I tasted some royal red shrimp on a trip to Pensacola and was blown away. It was the craziest shrimp I’d ever had. The idea for a stuffed crab came from Chef John Besh because they’re great this time of year, and I added the Vietnamese flavors. The Curried Peanut Sauce came from a seafood salad we’d done in the past; we flipped it around and stuffed everything in a crab. The peanut, cilantro, and sambal flavors just made sense.” -Todd Pulsinelli, Executive Chef, Restaurant August, New Orleans, La

Stuffed Crab Shell with Royal Red Shrimp, Green Papaya, Chile, and Peanut
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 gallon water
  2. Peels of 8 limes
  3. 4 stalks lemongrass, crushed
  4. 4 cups crushed ginger
  5. 6 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped
  6. 2 bunches cilantro stems
  7. 1 cup sambal oelek
  8. 6 live blue crabs
  9. 12 jumbo royal red shrimp, peeled and deveined
  10. ½ cup sambal vinegar, reserved from Sambal Pickles, divided
  11. ½ teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  12. ½ teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  13. ½ teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  14. 1 cup finely chopped peanuts
  15. 1 cup Japanese bread crumbs (panko)
  16. Sambal Pickles, recipe follows
  17. ½ cup Curry Peanut Sauce, recipe follows
  18. 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  19. 1/3 cup chopped green onion
  20. Garnish: micro basil, micro mint, and micro cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a large stockpot, combine 1 gallon water, lime peel, lemongrass, ginger, jalapeño, cilantro stems, and sambal oelek; bring to a boil. Add blue crabs, and cook 4 minutes. Remove crabs, and set aside. Add shrimp to pot, and cook 45 seconds. Remove shrimp, and set aside.
  2. Separate top shell from crabs, and pick meat; reserve meat and cleaned shells. Split shrimp lengthwise, and set aside. In a large pan, combine crab and shrimp, and cook over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons sambal vinegar, basil, mint, cilantro, peanuts, and bread crumbs, and gently mix together until warmed. Add additional sambal vinegar, if desired, until desired texture is reached. Divide crab mixture among reserved shells.
  3. Divide crabs among serving plates, and top with Sambal Pickles. Add 3 dollops of Curry Peanut Sauce on top of the dish, and sprinkle with radish slices and green onion. Garnish with micro herbs, if desired.
Louisiana Cookin https://www.louisianacookin.com/
Curry Peanut Sauce
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1½ teaspoons Madras curry powder
  2. 1½ teaspoons ground turmeric
  3. ¾ cup toasted peanuts
  4. ¼ cup rice vinegar
  5. 2½ tablespoons warm water (105° to 110°)
Instructions
  1. In the container of a blender, add curry, turmeric, peanuts, and vinegar; process until well combined. With motor running, add warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until sauce is smooth.
Louisiana Cookin https://www.louisianacookin.com/
Sambal Pickles
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. ½ green papaya, peeled, seeded, and diced small (about 1¾ cups)
  2. ¼ cup small diced carrots
  3. 3 cups rice vinegar
  4. 1 cup sambal oelek
  5. 1 cup water
  6. Zest of 1 lime
  7. 1 tablespoon honey
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine papaya and carrot.
  2. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, sambal oelek, 1 cup water, lime zest, and honey. Bring to a boil over high heat; pour over papaya mixture. Set aside.
Louisiana Cookin https://www.louisianacookin.com/

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