Both original and traditional, this is a rice dish, not a crab dish. But it is also an addictively delicious and comforting dish.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 2 ½ hours
for the congee:
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups|400 grams white rice (jasmine or medium grain)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
celery salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (whites and green parts separated)
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
10 wonton skins, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 tablespoons Old Bay
for the crab butter:
3 medium Maryland blue crabs
1 pound|453 grams unsalted butter
1. Make the congee: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until shiny, 1 minute. Cover with 14 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. You may need to add a bit more water to get it to the consistency you desire. Stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce, scallion whites, celery salt, and pepper.
2. Meanwhile, make the crab butter. Steam the crabs in a saucepan for 14 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath to cool, then drain. Pick the meat from the crabs and refrigerate until ready to use.
3. Heat the oven to 300°F. Smash the crab shells into small pieces and place in a baking dish with the butter. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes. Let sit for 5 minute, then strain, discarding the crab shells.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Add the wontons and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the wontons to a paper towel-lined plate and cool slightly, then toss in a bowl with the Old Bay.
5. To serve, divide the congee between bowls. Top with the reserved crab meat, scallion greens, cilantro, and the fried wontons.