1. Crab beehoon
Singapore may be synonymous with chilli crab – crabs stir-fried in a velvety, spicy, sweet-sour gravy – but equally popular is crab beehoon.
This dish of beehoon (rice vermicelli) drenched in a rich, aromatic broth studded with chunks of mud crab is so good, even the late Anthony Bourdain was hooked.
The gravy – a rich, flavourful fusion of evaporated milk, chicken or prawn stock, chopped ginger, garlic, galangal and butter – draws sweetness from the crabs, either added in whole or deshelled and halved.
The broth and the cooked crab are then added to rice vermicelli – the perfect noodle to soak up every ounce of deliciousness, and served in either a bowl or a clay pot.
2. Kai jeow pu
When it comes to savouring shellfish in Thailand, the kingdom’s kai jeow pu or crab omelette is one worth waiting in line for.
This simple, four-ingredient dish calls for eggs, a pinch of pepper, a spritz of fish sauce and a generous amount of steamed crab meat. All the ingredients are whisked together and poured slowly into a wok of hot oil.
The mixture fluffs up into a thick, golden brown blanket before it is removed from the wok and garnished with chopped coriander and finely sliced red chillies.
The result? A deeply savoury omelette with crispy edges and a custardy soft centre filled with chunks of fresh, briny crab.
3. Bun rieu cua
The Vietnamese are champions at crafting incredibly flavourful soups, and one of their best is bun rieu cua, a minced crab noodle dish bursting with vibrant, tangy flavours.
Whole paddy crabs – smaller in size than their ocean-raised cousins – are pounded to a pulp and sieved. The crab liquid adds a punch to the already flavourful bubbling stock of pork ribs, tomatoes, pineapples, garlic, shallots and shrimp paste.
Some eateries still do it the old school way by frying red annatto seeds and adding its crimson-hued oil to the broth for its distinctive colour.
But the star of the dish here is the silky soft mashed crab cakes that are added to the bowl of rice vermicelli along with the broth and garnished with tofu, pork slices, slivers of onions, crunchy bean sprouts and perilla leaves.
4. Kam heong crab
You won’t find a shortage of fantastic offerings in Malaysia featuring the much-loved crustacean, and a local favourite is the fragrant and addictive kam heong crab.
Kam heong, a distinctly Malaysian cooking style, is a hodgepodge of ingredients that includes curry leaves, curry powder, bird’s eye chilli, dried shrimp, ginger, garlic, and occasionally, lemongrass, torch ginger and tauchu (fermented soya bean paste).
For this dish, sweet and succulent Dungeness crabs are first deep-fried, then tossed in a searing hot wok with a kam heong blend, as well as oyster sauce and dark soya sauce.
The best way to savour a platter of crabs coated in this smoky, umami-laden gravy is to use your hands. It’ll be messy, but once you slurp up the delectable sauce, you’ll understand why.
You haven’t had a solid crab dish in the Philippines until you’ve tried inulukan or river crab wrapped in taro leaves and simmered in coconut milk.
This speciality of the Bicol region is a true labour of love. River crabs are boiled before the crab meat is removed from the shell.
The meat is then mixed with shredded young coconut, chopped garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, shrimp paste and a handful of siling labuyo chillies before being wrapped in a whole taro leaf.
These aromatic, crab-filled parcels are then left to simmer in coconut milk, which gives the dish its velvety texture and rich creaminess.
According to airasia.com