Garlicky crab dish has Vietnamese roots

October 12, 2006

October 11, 2006

BY BILL DALEY

CHICAGO TRIBUNE

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Crab is king in San Francisco, where hungry residents wait impatiently for the start of Dungeness crab season every fall.

The sweet, clean flavor of just-caught local crab is a thing to be savored.

A favorite presentation found at the city’s Vietnamese restaurants is roasted crab served in the shell atop an aromatic pillow of garlicky noodles.

The dish serves as inspiration for this quicker, simpler dish.

Dungeness works great here, of course, but equally good results can be had with other crab varieties.

Buy what’s best and at the best price. Use the best quality crab you can find. If possible, buy the crab still frozen so you can defrost it on your schedule.

For a kickier dish, augment the garlic butter with 1/4 cup each of sliced green onions and slivered fresh basil leaves and 1 to 2 tablespoons of minced jalapeno.

A crisp, yet full-bodied chardonnay from Australia gives the crab some added plushness. Iced tea also works well here.

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