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Crab And Pork Stuffed Shells (Poo Jah)

shantihhh's picture
A delightful and festive appetizer for any meal. Make ahead annd cook at the last minute before serving.
  Duck's egg/Large hen's egg 1
  Minced garlic 2 Tablespoon
  Chopped cilantro 2 Tablespoon (Including The Root If Possible)
  Crabmeat 4 Ounce
  Ground pork 4 Ounce
  Fish sauce 2 Tablespoon
  Light soy sauce 1 Tablespoon
  Sugar 1 Pinch

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, and then spoon a quarter of the mixture into each of four crab shells or ramekin dishes, and steam for about 15 minutes until cooked.

Serve on a leaf or two of lettuce.

Garnish with slivered length-wise red and green chiles and cilantro leaves.

Note: You can make this spicy by adding a little minced Thai chiles (phrik chee fa).

Note crab information: Blue crabs are most often used for this dish, Dungeness Crab works great as well using the large top hard shell as a family style serving dish.

If you live in an area where lobster is plentiful this recipe using lobster meat served in the half shell would be simply amazing. A King's dish for sure.

Picked crab meat is sold commercially, and the canning operations have huge crab picking 'houses' usually manned by local women armed with sharp knives and who manage to completely remove the meat, sorted into lump, claw, backfin, and the other smaller bits, in less time than a the usual crab eater takes just to get into one crab, remove the gills, and pry out the lumps. I often buy Phillip's Brand crab meat in the refrigerated tin when Dungeness is not in season here and it is fabulous for this recipe.

Maryland and Virginia crab works great also.

Recipe Summary

Preparation Time: 
15 Minutes
Cook Time: 
15 Minutes
Ready In: 
30 Minutes
This is traditionally made from small whole fresh blue crabs or swimming crabs in Thailand. The fresh crabs are droped into boiling water to quickly cook After they cool a bit you split the shells and remove the meat. You use the top shell to hold the puh jaa. Sometimes I just use Dungeness crab or even good quality fresh crab meat. You can use those cute little porcelain ramekins instead of crab shells for this tasty appetizer, although the crab or even scallop shells make a fun first course or appetizer. You should use a bamboo steamer or a steamer with a towel under the lid to prevent condensation dripping on to the crab.

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shantihhh's picture
I hesitated to use the Thai name for this recipe Poh Jah knowing the word has a totally different meaning in Hindi-do not mean to offend anyone. Many words IE sounds have different meanings in various languages. Tetraphobia is an aversion to or fear of the number 4. It is a superstition most common in East Asian regions such as China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. The Chinese word for four (四, pinyin: sì, jyutping), sounds very similar to the word for death (死, pinyin: sǐ, jyutping), in many forms of spoken Chinese. Similarly, the Sino-Japanese and Sino-Korean words for four, shi (Japanese) and sa (사, Korean), sound identical to death in each language. This is just one example but there are hundreds-maybe thousands.
tanya3286's picture
ur right about poo-jah there.... well I'm Indian and i never thought of it that way... :) lolz... yes, this does look lovely but i don't eat pork...just crab will be fine with this??
ifoodiee's picture
Nice recipe and as always you have a wealth of information..very interesting....i like the plates used and also the Poo Jah looks extremely appetizing...
shantihhh's picture
Thanks! I love serving food on white as it plays up the colour contrasts.
Lanette Lopez's picture
Where can I buy hollow Crab Shells for this recipe?
shantihhh's picture
Just use the shells from the crab you are buying such as Blue Crab which are smaller crabs. I have only seen harder shells such as scallops for sale.
Crab And Pork Stuffed Shells (Poo Jah) Recipe