Cha Cua (Vietnamese Pork and Crab Omlette)

Good for lunch or a light dinner. The quality of the crabmeat used is all-important, so if you don’t want to kill live crabs, use a nice lump crabmeat, either canned or vacuum-packed.

6 live Blue Crabs

4 oz ground pork

1/2 tsp salt

3 tsp fish sauce (in all)

1 scallion, minced

4 large eggs

1 tsp freshly fround black pepper

1 medium onion, halved and sliced thinly

3 T peanut oil

Coriander leaves for garnish

1 recipe nuoc cham (seasoned fish sauce)

Kill the crabs by running very hot tap water into their faces, or put them in a steamer. Either way, steam them  over boiling water for 30 minutes, then rinse under cold water and scrub them clean with a bristle brush. Crack them open and remove the meat. There should be about 1 cup. If any of your crabs are female, include any orange roe you find.

Mix the pork with the salt and 1 tsp of the fish sauce. Mix in the minced scallion.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, pepper, and the rest of the fish sauce. Add the pork mixture, stirring to break up any lumps, then add in the crabmeat and mix.

Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees and set an oven-proof platter inside.

Have the bowl of omlette mix, the sliced onion and the peanut oil ready by the stove. Heat a 12″ omlette pan over high heat for 1 minute, then add 1 T of peanut oil and let it heat for 1 minute more. Add 1/3rd of the sliced onion slices and let them brown slightly.  Reduce heat to medium low.  Use a soup ladle to pour 1/3rd of the omlette mixture into the pan. If any onion pieces get shoved to the sides, remove them and put them on top of the omlette. Cover the pan and cook on low for 3 minutes, or until the bottom of the omlette is browned. Turn carefully and cook, covered, to brown the other side. Slide onto the platter in the oven, then make two more omlettes in the same way, stacking them on top of each other like a stack of pancakes. Remove to a serving plate, cut into quarters, garnish with the coriander leaves, and serve with the nuoc cham on the side.

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