This classic dish of crab and rice is a firm favorite among the locals, who eat it mainly during the holy weekend of Easter, when families get together on the beach for the day or even to camp overnight. This recipe is a staple of Saint Martin’s cuisine.
It can even be made with land crabs, which are fleshier than sea crabs and have a more delicate taste. We are about to reveal a culinary secret that really brings out the flavors of crab and rice. If you have the means and the patience, keep the live crabs for about ten days and feed them corn, bananas, and mangoes. This will give the crab meat a very special flavor.
Ingredients for crab and rice
For 6 people you will need:
- 2 salted pig tails,
- 7 oz smoked slab bacon,
- 6 crabs,
- 1 ½ cups rice,
- 4 tablespoons oil,
- 1 teaspoon annatto oil (optional),
- a few cloves,
- 3 tomatoes,
- chili pepper, parsley, thyme,
- 4 garlic cloves,
- 1 onion,
- 5 scallions (or a bunch of chives)
How to make crab and rice
Cut the bacon into large cubes and cook until they turn white.
Chop and cook the pig tails.
Clean the crabs thoroughly and sear them in the boiling oil. Brown them well.
Place the crabs in a preheated cooking pot, along with the pig tails and smoked bacon. Cook until all ingredients are well browned.
Add the onions, scallions, garlic, chili peppers, chopped parsley, thyme, and cloves. Cook until browned.
Then add the crushed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Wash the rice and stir it in.
Add the fat from the crab shells for extra flavor and a creamier texture.
Stir in the annatto oil (optional). Add water.
Cook uncovered on medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes.
Great Places to Eat
Here are our recommendations for the best places to enjoy crab and rice.
Les Délices Créoles – Creole Delights
The most traditional crab and rice. Eat it there or take it to go.
39, Rue de la République in Marigot – 97150 Saint Martin.
Telephone: +590 590 29-4898.
Chez Yvette – Yvette’s Kitchen
Authentic, hearty crab and rice, eat it there or take it to go.
8 Quartier d’Orléans – 97150 Saint Martin.
Telephone: +1 721-524-6946.
This typical Saint Martin dish also features on the menus of the lolos of Grand Case and Marigot. You can order crab and rice to go from them too.