This recipe is a wonderful example of Thai fusion. Fettuccine-style pasta noodles or Chinese wheat noodles are tossed with a Thai-style tomato-crab sauce for an exquisite seafood dish that is right up there on the gourmet scale. One of my family's favorite recipes, you'll find it's sure to please everyone at dinnertime, including the kids (just reduce the chili for them). It's an excellent "world cuisine" dish that goes well with a nice bottle of wine.
- 10 to 12 ounces fettucini (fresh, or Chinese-style wheat noodles)
- 1 small bunch cilantro
- 3 spring onions (sliced)
- Optional: sprinkling of parmesan cheese (if using Italian-style pasta noodles)
- Black pepper to taste
- For the Sauce:
- 1 package crab meat (frozen, 1 to 1 1/2 cups; or canned crab meat, drained)
- 5 to 6 medium tomatoes (chopped)
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 piece galangal (thumb-sized, or ginger, grated)
- 1 to 2 red chilies (fresh, minced or 1 to 3 teaspoons chili sauce)
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste (or tomato ketchup)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch (dissolved in 2 to 3 tablespoons water)
- 2 tablespoons oil (for stir-frying)
Heat a wok or deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tbsp. oil and swirl around. Then add the garlic, ginger, and chili. Stir-fry briefly (30 seconds), until fragrant.
Add the fresh tomatoes, the tomato paste or ketchup, plus the soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar.
Bring sauce to a bubbling boil, then reduce heat to medium. Add the crab meat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes have cooked and "softened "into the sauce.
Turn down the heat to low. Add the eggs, stirring the sauce briskly with a spoon or fork to incorporate them (you may get a few "threads" of egg white in the sauce, which is desirable).
Add the cornstarch (dissolved in water) and stir well. Turn the heat down to a minimum while you cook the pasta/noodles. The sauce will gradually thicken.
Taste-test the sauce, adding more fish sauce if not salty enough (I usually add about 1 more Tbsp.). Add a little more sugar if too sour (this will depend on how sweet your tomatoes are). If the sauce is too salty for your taste, add a squeeze or two of lime or lemon juice.
Fresh noodles or pasta takes only a few minutes to cook. Simply bring a pot of water to the boil, then add the noodles or pasta, stirring gently as they are dropped into the water.
- Fresh noodles or pasta has a tendency to stick together. Don't try to separate it before cooking, or it will break. The noodles will naturally separate as you stir them with a fork in the boiling water.
Bring the water back up to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Taste-test one or two strands to see if the noodles/pasta is cooked before draining.
Toss the hot pasta or noodles with the sauce and portion out servings, or portion out the pasta/noodles and pour the sauce over. Add a sprinkling of fresh coriander, spring onion (scallions), and black pepper. Add a little parmesan cheese if using Italian-style pasta noodles. Serve with your favorite wine or lager.