La Plantation being located equidistant from Kampot and Kep, in the South-West of Cambodia, we couldn't miss the recipe of the mythical dish of the region: the Blue Crab with Green Kampot Pepper! It combines the two star ingredients of the region, between land and sea.
The blue crab of Kep
Kep is a seaside resort on the Gulf of Thailand, which was very popular during the French protectorate (it was then called Kep-sur-Mer). The fishing activity is still very intense and its crab market is bustling every morning. This is where we will start our recipe in order to find the best of the blue crabs, emblematic of the city and illustrated by its famous giant statue placed in the sea.
Choosing your crabs one by one
The fishermen bring back the traps containing their catch of the day: beautiful crabs that you will have to choose one by one: lively, rather female, heavy and with a very solid shell. The price varies between 8 and 10$ depending on the merchant and the negotiation skills!
Of course, the blue crab can be replaced by cornish crab, spider crab or shrimps.
On the way to The Plantation
We now need to harvest the second ingredient of our recipe: Green Kampot Pepper. An emblematic product of the Kampot region and benefiting from a PGI (Protected Geographical Indication), Kampot Pepper has the particularity of developing aromatic notes of mint and eucalyptus, not very spicy and with a long lasting taste. It is recognised as one of the best peppers in the world. And when you are lucky enough to eat it fresh from the pepper plant, it is magical.
For our recipe, we select the bunches before they are ripe, with young seeds that do not yet have a developed core so as not to be too pungent.
In the kitchen for the preparation of Kampot Pepper Crab
The ingredients for the recipe are as follows for about 1kg of crab: 4 shallots, 6 cloves of garlic, combava leaves, spring onions, a little galangal and our fresh Kampot Pepper.
Chop the shallots, garlic and spring onion. Cut the combava leaves into strips and the galanga root into slices.
Prepare the crabs by removing the shell (to be kept), cut the crab into two pieces, separate the claws and crush them with the chopper. Remove and discard the gills from the crab.
Cooking the Crab with Kampot Pepper
Put a wok on high heat, add a little oil and fry the minced ingredients until lightly coloured. Add the whole bunches of Kampot Pepper, then the pieces of crab and stir constantly to cook all the pieces evenly. Add a little palm flower sugar, Kampot Flower of Salt, a ladleful of fish or crab stock and a spoonful of soy sauce. When the crab is cooked, serve immediately with whole Thai basil leaves.
How can I cook this recipe at home?
Don't panic, you can cook this dish at home by substituting the following ingredients:
- Fresh Green Kampot Pepper. Unfortunately, it cannot be kept for more than 48 hours. You can replace it with Fresh Salted Kampot Pepper (in this case, you will not use Flower of Salt) or withDehydrated Green Kampot Pepper (which you will have rehydrated in water for 10 minutes).