Thai-Style Seafood Casserole with Basil
crab, hard shell
soy sauce, light
red chili peppers
scallions, spring or green onions
cleaned, cut up
Put the mung beans into a bowl and cover with warm water; soak until soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.
Drain. Set aside. If you are using a cooked crab, have the fishmonger crack it into large pieces.
To clean a live crab, be careful, and use a brush to scrub its underside and between the claws and legs to loosen the sand and grit.
Rinse thoroughly with cold water.
Plunge the crab into boiling water for a minute to kill it.
Remove. When cool, clean, disjoint and chop the crab into large chunks.
In a mortar or spice mill, pound or grind the peppercorns first, then add the coriander root and garlic, and work it into a paste.
Mix together the sugar, Golden Mountain, soy and oyster sauces, rice wine and sesame oil in a bowl.
Pour the vegetable oil into a 3½-quart sandy clay pot casserole (or a Dutch oven) and set over medium heat.
Add the coriander-garlic- pepper paste and sauté lightly.
Increase the heat to high.
Add ginger, chiles and raw crab pieces; toss and brown for a minute.
Add the shrimp an green onions to crab mixture; stir-fry for 30 seconds.
Pour in the soy sauce mixture and mung bean noodles; toss and mix together.
Stir in the water, cover pot, reduce heat to medium and braise for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If the noodles seem dry, add more water.
Increase heat to medium-high, and gently stir in the fish and squid (and cooked crab if using), mix with the noodles, top with the basil leaves.
Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes longer. Check for doneness.
Garnish with fresh coriander sprigs. Bring the clay pot to the table and serve hot with rice and vegetables.