Crab salad with nam jim and mixed cress

Crab salad with nam jim and mixed cress

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4

Really good fresh crab meat is a rich and pure delicacy that needs to be served as simply as possible and the clean, clear Asian flavours of nam jim work perfectly. This simple, hot Thai dressing also goes well with barbecued seafood and cold sliced rare beef fillet. It is best prepared shortly before using, as the flavours intensify the longer they sit. I have taken the liberty of adjusting the chillies for a gentler taste – the traditional recipe calls for at least five times the amount!

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g freshly prepared white crab meat, (ordered from your fishmonger)
handful mixed cress or wild rocket
1 large, mild red chilli, finely sliced, (optional)

Nam jim

Quantity Ingredient
2 garlic cloves, peeled
bunch coriander, washed, roots and stems only
sea salt
1 green bird’s eye chilli, chopped
2 tablespoons palm sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice, or to taste
2 red shallots, peeled and finely chopped

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
lime wedges

Method

  1. First make the nam jim (as close to serving as possible). Using a pestle and mortar, pound the garlic and coriander roots and stems with a pinch of salt until well crushed. Add the chilli and continue to pound. Mix in the sugar, fish sauce and lime juice, then stir in the chopped shallots. Before serving, taste and adjust the flavours as necessary, perhaps adding a little more salt or lime juice.
  2. Dress the crab with about 4 tbsp nam jim – enough to give it a clean, clear, sweet, hot flavour, but not too much otherwise you will overpower the delicate taste of the crab. Scatter the mixed cress through, along with the red chilli for an extra kick if required. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

Note

  • Mixed cress is something I get periodically from Andrew, my vegetable supplier. It includes pea cress, radish cress, shiso (Japanese cress) and garlic shoots. These make a deliciously tangly knot that is visually very beautiful. Mixed cress isn’t easy to find, but you could try asking your greengrocer if he could get hold of one or two (if not all) of the varieties. Otherwise peppery wild rocket is a satisfactory alternative.
Tags:
seasonal
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