This Crab Fried Rice is so simple but very tasty with natural sweetness from crab meat and richness from eggs. It is great for everyday meals as well as special occasions.
One of the first dishes we tried after moving back to Saigon was crab fried rice. In Vietnam, it is called “cơm chiên cua“. Shortly after that, we got to try it in Siem Reap (and I think Thai cuisine also has this dish).
The fried rice was delicious on both occasions, but we couldn’t help thinking there was so little crab meat in the restaurant versions. That was why we felt obliged to make it at home, so that we could shower the fried rice with delicious pieces of crab meat and eggs.
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What Types Of Crab Meat to Use
Crab meat is the star of the dish so the higher the quality, the tastier the result. You can use refrigerated canned crab meat at grocery stores. However, if you can find live crabs, you’re in for a treat :).
It is a little more time consuming with live crabs since you will need to steam them and pick out the meat. In return, you are rewarded with freshly prepared crab meat that retains its full sweetness.
The meat from different types of crabs has some differences in flavors and texture. I like to use blue crab, mud crab or dungeness crab. I think snow crab may work too. You can also mix different types for more variety.
If you use mud crab or dungeness crab, having crab crackers is a must to pick the meat. Here’s a guide on how to clean steamed crabs before picking the meat if you need more details. I also highly recommend this stir-fried crab with ginger and scallion recipe.
What Types Of Rice to Use
A good fried rice dish has the grains barely clump together while still retaining the shape and soft-chewy texture. The rice shouldn’t be mushy at all. That’s why I like to use long-grain rice (such as jasmine rice) that is day-old and refrigerated.
What if there’s no leftover rice? In this case, I will cook some fresh rice in my rice cooker, utilizing its Quick cooking function. Once time is up, open the rice cooker and let all the steam evaporate. Spread the rice thinly on a plate or tray to cool them a little more, and then either chill in the refrigerator or freezer if you need to cook soon.
Here are other ingredients you’ll need:
- aromatics: garlic and scallion.
- seasonings: fish sauce and soy sauce. Since crab meat has a delicate flavor, be light on the seasonings to let its natural flavors shine.
- salt, pepper and oil
If you want, you can mix the fried rice with some sate sauce for additional heat and flavors.
Cooking Tips for Crab Fried Rice
Achieving the perfect texture for fried rice can be difficult at home since home kitchens don’t have high power stoves like restaurant kitchens. To help with this, I strongly recommend using less water when cooking the rice in your rice cooker, about 10-15%. You can even do 20%, though that’s a bit too dry for my taste.
The next thing you can do is frying small batches of rice and working very quickly. Stir and toss constantly, and be generous with the amount of oil. Please find detailed instructions in the recipe card below.
More Rice Recipes
I’d love to hear what you think about the dish, so please feel free to leave a comment. New recipes are added every week so let’s connect on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates. You can find my collection of Vietnamese recipes here.
Crab Fried Rice
- 2 cups cooked rice (day-old, refrigerated, about 10.5-12 oz)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil, divided
- 3-4 large eggs, beaten
- 1½ tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white parts
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
- ¾-1 cup crab meat (about 5-5.5 oz. See Notes if using live crabs)
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (to taste)
- 1½-2 teaspoons soy sauce, divided (to taste)
- 1-2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, green parts
- black pepper
- In a shallow plate, mix rice with ½ teaspoon salt and 1½ teaspoon of oil. While doing this, use your fingers to break up the rice.
- Place a wok or pan over medium heat and add about 1 teaspoon of oil. Then add the beatened eggs, swirl and scramble briefly and remove from the heat while the eggs are still soft and a little runny. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat another teaspoon oil in the same pan and add the white parts of scallions. Sauté briefly until fragrant, then add half of the garlic and also sauté briefly until fragrant.
- Add crab meat, stir and cook for about 15 seconds and then add 1 teaspoon of fish sauce and ½ teaspoon of soy sauce. Stir and cook until crab meat is heated through and smells delicious, another 15-20 seconds or so. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the remaining garlic. Sauté briefly until fragrant and then increase the heat to medium high. Add rice, stir and toss constantly to break up the rice for about a minute. Add the remaining soy sauce and continue to stir and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add crab meat to the pan, stir and cook for 30-40 seconds to distribute the crab meat and let the flavors fuse. Then add scrambled eggs, break up the eggs into small bits and toss quickly with the rice for a few seconds.
- Sprinkle the green parts of scallions and black pepper, give everything a stir to combine then transfer to serving plates immediately. Serve hot with some extra soy sauce on the side.