Jun 21, 2017

Crab Fried Rice

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
This dish is inspired by the garlic crab fried rice at ROC kitchen – a Taiwanese restaurant on Sawtelle in Los Angeles that serves, most notably, amazing xiao long bao as well as scallion pancakes, and three-cup chicken.

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This fried rice recipe has a clean taste with light and fluffy rice, garlic and lump crab. When preparing this recipe, it is important that the wok is very hot so the rice does not continue to steam and become mushy. Since it is so hot and the recipe cooks quickly it is also important to get all the ingredients measured out ahead of time.

This dish is inspired by the garlic crab fried rice at ROC kitchen – a Taiwanese restaurant on Sawtelle in Los Angeles that serves, most notably, amazing xiao long bao as well as scallion pancakes, and three-cup chicken. It’s one of those restaurants where I always have to get my favorites and I can’t swap anything out – if I want to try something different then I’ll have to just order more.

Crab Fried Rice

More About The Types of Crabmeat

There are several different grades of crab meat sold already out of the shell in stores or online for purchase.

  1. Jumbo lump crab (also known as colossal lump) is the highest quality – the pearly white large chunks of crab come from where the crabs connect to the swimmer fins. They are the most expensive because there are only two of these per crab.
  2. Lump crab meat comes from broken pieces of jumbo lump crab and large chunks of body meat. It’s slightly less expensive than the jumbo grade but still has great flavor and a bright color (should be white to slightly off-white). I prefer this for crab cakes because it is slightly less expensive, but you still get large chunks!
  3. Backfin crab meat, consists of smaller pieces of broken lump crab meat mixed with smaller pieces of body meat. It is still textured and has good flavor though not my favorite for crab cakes.
  4. Claw meat is small and looks more shredded and is a pinkish-tannish color. It is very flavorful but too shredded for crab cakes and is best in soups!

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Crab – I like using lump crab in this recipe though any will do! It has a high quality meat without paying as quite as high a price as jumbo lump.
  • Rice – While most fried rice recipes call for long grain rice, I use short-grain sushi rice in this recipe to get fluffy individual grains. Any medium to long grain rice variety can easily be substituted in a pinch. Cook the rice in chicken stock a day ahead of time, refrigerating until ready to use to cut down on prep time. This also allows the rice to cool and dry out for the best fried rice.
  • Chicken stock – How does that affect their flavor? Chicken stock has a much richer, more robust flavor than chicken broth which comes from the collagen released from the simmering bones rather than the meat. On the other hand, chicken broth is much more mellow in flavor. I typically use chicken stock when cooking. In a pinch the chicken stock can be substituted with water though it takes away some of the flavor.
  • Black vinegar – Black vinegar, also known as Chinkiang vinegar is a dark, malty Asian rice vinegar with a balsamic like sweet/ tart flavor. It can be found at Asian markets or online on Amazon here.
  • Soy sauce – The soy sauce adds plenty of salt to the rice so there’s no need to add more. I prefer to use low sodium soy sauce so it can be controlled more.
  • Vegetable oil – Vegetable oil is a neutral oil meaning it doesn’t have its own flavor. As a result it doesn’t overpower the other flavors in this dish. It also has a higher smoking point than say olive oil. This makes it a better choice to use to stir fry the rice.
  • Fish sauce – I love the funky umami flavor fish sauce adds to any dish. It’s a great way to enhance the flavor of curries or even chicken wings. The flavor comes from a process of fermenting fish over a long period of time.

How to Make Garlic Crab Fried Rice

  1. Rinse the rice. Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and run cool water over the rice until the water runs clear. In a medium saucepan or rice cooker combine the rice and the chicken stock.
  2. Cook and cool the rice. Simmer until of all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then spread the rice out on a baking sheet in an even layer to cool completely.
  3. Cook the eggs. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat through. Crack the eggs into the wok and scramble until just set, about 1 minute.
  4. Cook the garlic. Add the sesame oil, garlic, the whites from the green onions and fresh ginger. Use a rubber spatula to move the mixture consistently until the garlic is golden brown, about 15 seconds.
  5. Add the rice. Add the rice and stir to combine, about 1 minute.
  6. Season the fried rice and add the crab. Add the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, stirring consistently to combine the mixture.
  7. Add the crab. Gently stir in the crab meat, keeping some of the crab in large pieces. Remove from heat and serve.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

Why should I rinse my rice before cooking it? 

Rinsing the grains of rice under water before cooking it gets rid of some of the starch which results in cooked grains that don’t clump and stick together. This is perfect for fried rice when you want to make sure you coat each grain in the sauce. To rinse your rice simply add it to a fine mesh strainer and run it under cool water, moving the grains around until the water runs clear. 

Tips for the best fried rice: 
  • Prep your ingredients ahead of time. The dish comes together quickly so have your ingredients prepared in a mise en place. 
  • You can cook your rice a day ahead of time (if you have the foresight). This allows the rice to crisp up more and fry rather than steam when it cooks in the pan since it will a little drier. 
  • Use a wok if you have one! It has more surface area so everything heats quickly and evenly. If you don’t have a wok I recommend a large cast iron skillet for the best fried rice. 
Serving suggestions

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this crab fried rice recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Crab Fried Rice

Print Pin
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup short grain white rice (sushi rice)
  • cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 7 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, greens and whites separated
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon black rice wine vinegar**
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 12 ounces jumbo lump crab meat

Instructions:

  • Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and run cool water over the rice until the water runs clear. In a medium saucepan or rice cooker combine the rice and the chicken stock.
  • Simmer until of all the stock is absorbed and the rice is cooked, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork then spread the rice out on a baking sheet in an even layer to cool completely.
  • Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil and heat through. Crack the eggs into the wok and scramble until just set, about 1 minute.
  • Add the sesame oil, garlic, the whites from the green onions and ginger. Use a rubber spatula to move the mixture consistently until the garlic is golden brown, about 15 seconds. Add the rice and stir to combine, about 1 minute.
  • Add the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, stirring consistently to combine the mixture.
  • Gently stir in the crab meat, keeping some of the crab in large pieces. Remove from heat and serve.

Notes:

Black vinegar, also known as Chinkiang vinegar is a dark, malty Asian rice vinegar with a balsamic like sweet/ tart flavor. It can be found at Asian markets or online on Amazon here.

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    • Thank you! I can’t remember which brand i used for this one but I really like Pontchartrain brand or handy! The biggest thing is to make sure you are buying the right kind of crab meat though!! Make sure it says "Jumbo lump crabmeat" on the label!

  1. Made tonight with Fresh lump Maryland blue crab. Very good! Thanks for the recipe.
    Might add a little heat next time with some diced Thai bird chili pepper added with garlic and green onion.