If I had to choose what’s my favorite type of seafood, it would be blue crab, hands down! It’s great steamed, boiled with seasonings, made into crab cakes, or raw. I can’t remember when I first had raw spicy crab, but I remember I got it at a local Korean supermarket in NYC. This was many years ago, and I’m glad to say I am experienced enough with preparing food that I can make a pretty decent yangnyeom gejang.
- 1/2 dozen blue crab (live or killed–I’d suggest killed so you don’t have to struggle like I did to keep them from scurrying away or dueling with your tongs)
- low sodium soy sauce
- half a head of garlic, diced
- a touch of sesame oil
- red pepper flakes
- cayenne powder
- a medium onion, diced
I’ll be honest here, as you all know by now, I really eyeball the amount of each ingredient, and focus on the taste to let me know if my seasoning or sauce is on point. I can give you my best estimates for the proportions! 🙂
- Separate the head from the body if it’s not already separated.
- Pull off the lungs and antennae.
- Scrub the crab down thoroughly to clean off the dirt and mud that’s on the shells.
- To let the flavor seep in, break the crab’s body into quarters.
- Cover and refrigerate the crab as you work on your marinade. **I usually just marinate the bodies and steam the heads, but that’s entirely up to you!**
- Pour approximately half a cup of low sodium soy sauce, some cayenne powder and pepper flakes (based on your tolerance for spice), 1/4 tsp of sesame oil, and sugar to taste.
- Dice up your garlic and onion into fine pieces and add it into your marinade.
- Put the crab either in a large bowl or ziploc bag, and pour in your sauce (after you make sure you like the flavor!!). Stir it around so all of the crab pieces have touched the marinade.
- Cover it again and let it sit for a couple of hours, flipping the crab to let all of the pieces get thoroughly soaked.
- Leave it overnight to marinate, and you can eat it the next day!
DISCLAIMER: Remember that there’s always a risk of eating raw foods, so this is a recipe that you should eat at your own risk! I have a pretty strong stomach that can handle raw foods, but if you don’t have a stomach of steel, you might want to pass on this recipe :X
Mussels Fra Diavolo
It’s finally starting to feel like winter with the temperature dropping down to the 40s, BOOOOO! (I hate the cold weather haha) BUT, the cold, wintry weather is the perfect time to experiment with spicy recipes, such as mussels fra diavolo! I almost always order seafood fra diavolo dishes when I see them on the menu at restaurants because it has my two favorite things: seafood and spice, yum 🙂
We used Food.com’s recipe as inspiration this past weekend since we were craving seafood, but we didn’t want to dine at a restaurant and fight the large crowds celebrating the holidays.
Here are the ingredients we used (but of course, feel free to play around with any ingredients you prefer, omit or add to your liking!)
- 1 bag of fresh mussels – you can buy them at your local supermarket
- 1 green pepper (or more, depending on your preference)
- 1 medium onion **I personally don’t know the difference between the white and yellow onion… so I just got the yellow one!**
- 1 head of garlic
- 1 box of spaghetti (or whatever type of pasta you prefer)
- 1 can of pasta sauce **if you want to make it from scratch, like Food.com suggests, you would buy some tomato paste and canned tomatoes and then add flavor to your liking! We went the easy route and bought Del Monte’s Tomato and Basil flavored pasta sauce**
For mussel prep:
- I’m not sure how many people do this, but traditionally since most mollusks live on the sea floor, they draw in water to feed from microscopic organisms, while filtering out sand and other debris. I soaked them in cold water with salt to encourage them to spit out any sand and repeated it twice.
- After that was done, I scrubbed each mussel’s shell one by one and pulled off the beards, if there were any, and then set them aside.
- I boiled 1-inch of water and then put the mussels in for 5 minutes until their shells opened, and then pulled out all the mussels while saving the mussel broth. **Remember that if there are any mussels whose shells have not opened, throw them away!**
For pasta prep:
- Boil water and cook the pasta according to the directions (ours was for 10 minutes for a perfect al dente texture). Easy peasy. 🙂
- Drain and set aside until you’re ready to serve!
For sauce prep:
- Dice the garlic cloves, green peppers and onions into small pieces.
- Sauté them all in a pan over medium heat in oil until they get soft.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes to taste. We loooove spicy food, so we added a ton of red pepper flakes hehe.
- Keep stirring as you add the pasta sauce to the pan and lower the fire to low heat and let it simmer.
- When the sauce is 95% ready, add in your mussels and stir!
We weren’t sure what to do with the mussel broth, but after finishing off our masterpiece, we thought we should have cooked our pasta in the mussel broth to give the pasta that extra seafoody flavor, but there’s always next time to experiment again 🙂 It came out extra tasty and I encourage y’all to try this recipe out at home and let me know how it comes out! Enjoy!!
Our finished Mussels Fra Diavolo, so proud :’)
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