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Baked Bean Thread Noodles with Crab (Mien Xao Cua Dut Lo)

These make great little appetizers for your holiday get-togethers or dinner parties!

If you enjoy baked dishes, you’ll love this week’s recipe which I call a Vietnamese casserole.  I wish more recipes were this simple–we lightly stir-fry some vegetables with crab meat, add in the noodles, seasoned chicken stock and then bake.  Everything comes out piping hot, perfectly cooked and so delicious.  The noodles are substantial enough that they can be served as a main dish.  Without a doubt this also makes a great appetizer or a side dish.  During the holiday seasoning, when there are many family get-togethers or dinner parties, this is my go-to dish because of its popularity and versatility.

Notes on the recipe, tips and tricks

This recipe uses canned crab meat which is minced.  If you’d like more visible pieces of crab, use lump crab meat or imitation crab meat.

Not a fan of crab meat?  Use chicken, beef, pork or seafood.  Stir-fry the meat until it’s halfway cooked, add the vegetables and then bake.

For convenience buy vegetables already chopped and shredded to reduce your prep time.  You can also use a rotisserie chicken from your deli or other fully cooked meat for additional time-savings.

This dish can be served hot, cold or even a room temperature so, it’s an all-around versatile dish.

These noodles are not overly seasoned, so serve them with a side of soy sauce and chili paste and let everyone season as desired.  I also love squeezing some fresh lime juice on the noodles.

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

6 bundles bean thread noodles (approximately 9 oz)
2- 6 oz cans crab meat (I like the brand Crown Prince)
1/2 lb green beans
2 celery stalks
8 oz Portabella mushroom caps
4 oz shredded carrots
1/2 small red onion
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 Tbsp oyster sauce

Directions

Soak bean thread noodles in warm water for 10 minutes.

Trim the ends off the green beans and then cut in half.  Cut celery at a diagonal into thin slices. Cut the mushrooms into thick slices. Thinly slice the red onion.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drain the crab meat into a fine strainer.  Rinse with cold water and then drain.

Drain the noodles and toss gently to remove the excess water.  Use scissors and cut the strands so they are a bit shorter.

Heat a large wok over Medium High heat and when hot add the sesame oil.  Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for 15 seconds.

Add the green beans and celery and stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Add the remaining vegetables and crab meat and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Turn-off the heat and add 1 Tbsp soy sauce and freshly ground black pepper.  Combine together.

In a measuring cup, combine the chicken stock with 1 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 Tbsp oyster sauce.

Add the bean thread noodles to the wok and then drizzle the sauce over the noodles.  Toss together making sure the noodles are completely coated with the sauce.

Line a 13X9 inch baking dish with foil.  Pour the noodles into the dish and spread out into an even layer.  Cover the dish with another large piece of foil sealing it completely.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Baking instead of stir-frying makes perfect noodles!

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Spicy Stir-Fried Crab Legs (Cua Xao Gung Ot)

Delicious and succulent crab legs and claws stir-fried in a spicy and savory Asian sauce.

During the summertime I love dining outside and am always looking for casual meals to take outdoors.  So I love dishes where everything can be made in one big wok or pot and then taken right to the table.   This Spicy Stir-Fried Crab Legs is that perfect summertime dish.  Quick and easy to make, these crab legs are stir-fried with a spicy, savory sauce that is finger-licking good.  Add some corn-on-the cob and a salad and you have a scrumptious no-fuss meal to enjoy during the summer months.

Notes on the recipe

You can use both crab legs and claws in this recipe.  If buying whole crab legs, cut them into 4 inch lengths.

I bought the crab claws already cut and scored which is so convenient.  (The brand is called Nautilus and they are sold frozen.)  The scoring not only makes them easier to crack open but also allows the stir-fry sauce to permeate the meat during cooking.

You can use fresh crab legs as well.  Just cook them before stir-frying.

Substitute the red chilies with red bell peppers or any mild peppers of your choice if you want to tone down the heat.

Watch the video below for instructions.

Ingredients

4 lb cooked crab claws/legs, cut and scored
4 garlic cloves
1-inch ginger
3-4 red chilies
1 small yellow onion
4 green onions

Stir-fry Sauce
1/3 cup water
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Vodka 5-Spice Marinade
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp plum sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp vegetable oil (for stir-frying)

Directions

Rinse crab legs with cool water several times to wash off any dirt or sand. Drain in a colander.

Smash garlic, remove the skin and then chop.
Peel off skin from ginger and then cut into thin strips.
Cut red chilies in half, remove the core and then cut into thin strips.
Cut the onion into thin slices.
Cut the green onions into 2-inch sections.

In a measuring cup add water, soy sauce, Vodka 5-Spice Marinade, oyster sauce, plum sauce, cornstarch, ground black pepper and stir until smooth.

Heat a large wok or skillet over High heat.  When hot, add vegetable oil.  Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 15 seconds.  Add the yellow onions, red chilies and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the crab and toss in the wok, cooking for 2 minutes.  Drizzle 1/3 of the sauce onto the crab legs coating them evenly.  Toss together.  Drizzle another 1/3 of the sauce and toss together.  Add the remaining sauce and combine.  Stir-fry for another 3-4 minutes tossing, coating the crab legs with the sauce.

Turn off the heat, add the green onions and ground black pepper and combine together.

Yields: 4 servings

Enjoy these spicy, savory and succulent crab claws in no time at all with this easy recipe!

Enjoy these spicy, savory and succulent crab claws in no time at all with this easy recipe!

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