For a long time I’ve been seeing these large tubs of lump crab meat at Costco. I never buy them, because there’s only two people in our house, can we really eat all that crab before it goes bad? But, then again we love crab so it was worth an effort. Has anyone ever had too many crab based dinners in a week?

The brainstorm session was on. I came up with a lot of fun ideas, but the absolute best one happened by accident on a Sunday afternoon. Fried rice is one of my go-to recipes, especially on the weekends when I consistently forget that my husband is going to be starving around 11 am. So it’s quite often leftover rice + whatever is in the fridge + sauce; it’s pretty much a no fail combination. Fortunately this Sunday afternoon I had the first peppers of the season from my friend’s garden and alllll that crab. I’ve never had crab fried rice, but could it possibly not be delicious? Of course not.

If you don’t have leftover rice, it’s best to cook it the night before. If you don’t have that much notice, do it as far in advance as you can manage and put it into the fridge so it can cool and dry out a bit. Fried rice made with warm, moist rice will be soggy.

I like my fried rice extra crusty, almost like a bibimbap. To achieve that yummy crust, after adding your seasoned rice to the cast iron let it sit for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat before you even start to stir it. It may look a bit burnt if you’re not used to it. But it’s so crunchy and toasty delicious.

The secret to fried rice is prep work, before you even think about cooking the rice you should have everything that’s going in there chopped up and ready to go. That’s a pretty solid rule for all cooking, especially Asian cooking, but with fried rice it’s essential. Once you get that rice in the pan, there’s no pausing because you haven’t chopped your egg yet.

Crab and Pepper Fried Rice

Ingredients

1 red bell pepper
1 large jalapeno pepper (or 2 small)
3 scallions, white and green parts separated, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. cooked lump crab meat
1 egg
2 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup before cooking) at room temperature
oil or bacon fat
stir fry sauce:
1 T soy sauce
1 t. mirin
1 1/2 t. rice vinegar
pinch of red chili flakes
heavy sprinkle of white pepper

Instructions

Roast the bell pepper and jalapeƱo over an open flame, until the skin is black and charred. Put peppers into a bowl and cover for at least 10 minutes. Remove the skin from the peppers (add tip for removing skin in the sink), remove the seeds, and then dice.

Pick through the crab to make sure there are no shells.

Beat the egg with a little water and salt, and then cook it...you want more of a filling-free omelette than scrambled eggs. Take them off the heat once they're just cooked, as they'll cook a bit more when you mix everything together at the end. Once the eggs have cool, give them a rough chop into bite sized pieces and set aside.

Mix all the stir fry sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Put a little oil or bacon fat in a cast iron skillet, cook the white/light green parts of the scallions and garlic in pan and cook until slightly softened and then remove them from the pan. Mix the scallions and garlic into the rice, add the stir fry sauce and mix well. Put a bit more oil or fat into the cast iron and then add the seasoned rice mixture.

Let the rice sit & cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, don't turn it until the bottom is starting to get crispy. I almost always use brown rice, it's healthier and I love the rich, nutty flavor, but you don't need to make any changes if you're using white rice. Once you see the a nice browning going on the bottom, you can start to turn it. A common mistake is stirring fried rice too much. It won't crisp up that way.

After turning the rice the first time, add the roasted peppers. Cook for about 5-10 minutes more, then add the cooked egg, crab and the green parts of the scallions. Cook for only about 5 minutes more. You want to make sure your crab and egg have a bit of a crisp on them, but aren't over cooked.

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