11 May2008


Happy Mother’s Day! I know a lot of folks head out to eat on Mother’s Day, mostly to give mom a day off from some kitchen work, but we tend to stay IN on holidays such as this one since the malls, restaurants, etc. are jampacked and you are more likely to get a mediocre, overpriced and somewhat stressful meal instead of a calm and enjoyable one. Of course there are exceptions, but today is a great day to enjoy food at home, as long as “mom” doesn’t have to prepare it. So here was Mother’s Day lunch at our place…


One of my favorite food magazines has to be Gourmet, along with Saveur, Vogue Entertaining (Austalian edition), Delicious, etc. And in every issue of Gourmet, I find that there is something I would definitely like to cook and eat. It seems Gourmet has become much more “accessible”, with sophisticated recipes that CAN in fact be done by home cooks. Recipes also often appear to be far more global and sometimes, together with their wonderful photographs, really call out to me and I am inspired to try it within days of getting my subscription copy of the magazine.


in the May 2008 issue of Gourmet, there is a recipe for “Spicy Crab Spaghettini with Preserved Lemon” that sounded and looked really intriguing. The only problem was I didn’t have any preserved lemons and while I have always wanted to have some in stock for the tagine experiments we conduct at the beach, I never got around to buying or making preserved lemons. Thank goodness the magazine also provides a really easy recipe for preserved lemons so I made those first (recipe up soon in a separate post), then aged them for some 9-10 days before I made the pasta recipe for Mother’s Day.


The recipe was appropriately sophisticated and unusual, and despite taking less than 20 minutes to make (excluding time to steam and pick fresh crabs), it had a surprisingly complex and delicious impression on one’s taste buds. The only substitution I made to the original recipe was alimango meat for the specified frozen king crab legs. The recipe credit goes completely to Gourmet. To make, I purchased 1.5 kilos of alimango and steamed them for 12-14 minutes until cooked. After cooking for say 20 minutes, we picked out all of the crab meat, and take care not to include the sharp shells in the crab meat. The 1.5 kilos of crab was equal to roughly 600 grams of peeled crabmeat. When your pasta water has reached a boil, add a generous amount of salt and add about 3/4 pound of spaghettini or spaghetti. Heat up a stainless or cast iron pan, add 1/4 cup of good olive oil, and about 1/2 cup of finely chopped red onions and saute for about 2-3 minutes until soft. Add two teaspoons (I used 3) of sambal oelek (bottled Malay, Indonesian, Thai chili paste) and stir for a few seconds before adding the peeled crab meat and stir gently to heat through.


When the pasta is al dente or firm to the bite, drain it and add it to the crab mixture. Quickly add two tablespoons of salted butter, a little salt if necessary, and about 3 tablespoons of chopped flatleaf parsley. Also stir in finely chopped preserved lemon, about a tablespoon worth. The preserved lemon needs to be rinsed before chopping. Also, scrape off the pulp and only use the skin. Serve hot. This was superb! Thank you Gourmet, for another easy and delicious recipe!



  1. Tricia says:

    You’re right MM, we just stayed for lunch today and had chinese take out from Mann Hann megamall. I would love to try this dish and probably subscribe to Gourmet magazine :)

    May 11, 2008 | 3:32 pm


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  3. nina says:

    I love pasta and love crabs. I will try this one of these days :) Happy Mother’s Day to Mrs. MM.

    May 11, 2008 | 4:58 pm

  4. wil-b cariaga says:

    mmmm. . . crab with sambal oelek, very tasty for sure. . .easy on the sambal oelek it could be wicked spicy. . .

    May 11, 2008 | 5:03 pm

  5. Apicio says:

    Agree on your assessment of Gourmet magazine although through the years I notice that I usually only purchase their Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special issues that have to be extraordinarily catching to add to my now tottering piles of them. And over the years too some of their recipes have attached themselves to my tiny repertoire, crackling pork hocks, men’s favorite salad, rib-eye with Stilton sauce which is not unlike the black and blue steak (sounds like an S&M slogan, black and blue is beautiful) you posted a few months back and for which one only has to have a penchant for pleasure to enjoy and which also elicited chest clutching of joy among my friends and family whenever I cooked it when it first came out though now, with the passing of years, even just the thought only provoke cowering, caution and concern. The selling point was fostered that they never resorted to food styling (of the shoe-polish and varnish kind) which must have mitigated Mimi Sheraton’s rant about their unappetizing pictures of late but here is a magazine that do not publish untried recipes, a food magazine that my dear mother would have relied on and loved. Happy Mothers Day!

    May 11, 2008 | 5:22 pm

  6. elaine says:

    We stayed home too, but my mom did cook because she loves cooking…she did a mean chicken cacciatore. Would love to replicate this pasta dish. I love spice! Happy Mother’s Day to Mrs. MM and to all mothers out there!

    May 11, 2008 | 8:05 pm

  7. rachel says:

    that looked absolutely fabulous. like apicio i only buy the thanksgiving and christmas issue as i have a pack rat problem. i can’t bear to throw them out and end up with hundreds of them when i used to subscribe.they have the recipes from gourmet and bon appetit at epicurious.com anyway so if something on it catches my eye at the grocery check out line i just go to the website and save the recipes i want on my file.happy mother’s day to all mother’s out there.

    May 11, 2008 | 10:26 pm

  8. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    We drove to Bogo and had a great time at the beach. Lunch was bbq fish and pork chops, steamed shrimps and crabs, and puso. And the lato was soooo fresh and sweet…awesome!!

    May 11, 2008 | 10:27 pm

  9. rina says:

    i was thinking about making this same recipe from Gourmet soon as I saw it on that issue and was wondering whether I should open my last precious can of crabmeat for it….ended up making spaghettini aglio olio with pepperoncino, sundried tomatoes, olives and italian parsley…after reading your blog, looks like i’ll be making it soon!

    May 12, 2008 | 6:38 am


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