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Thai Crab Curry Recipe (Poo Pad Pong Curry)

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This Thai crab curry recipe, or poo pad pong curry, is an easy-to-make crab stir-fry with curry powder. It’s the perfect dish for seafood lovers and is best served with jasmine rice for a quick weeknight dinner.

Top-view of Thai crab curry, poo pad pong curry, served in a white dish.

Thai people love seafood, so I’ve packed this Thai food blog with loads of seafood recipes! Some of my favorites are tom yum talay and spaghetti kee mao. You can also try a variation on this Thai crab recipe: yellow curry stir-fry with shrimp and squid in my recipe for pad pong karee talay.

What is Thai crab curry

Thai crab curry, or poo pad pong curry in Thai, is an aromatic seafood dish of stir-fried crab with curry powder. The curry sauce is a mix of coconut milk with Thai seasonings like chili paste and oyster sauce.


In Thai, poo means crab, pad is stir-fry, and pong curry means curry powder. In Thailand, this dish is also known as bu pad pong karee or poo pad pong karee.

Poo pad pong curry

This stir-fried crab with curry powder is an easy stir-fry recipe that’s perfect for every home cook. Don’t worry if you don’t have crab on hand – this recipe is versatile! You can swap in whatever protein you have, like chicken, pork, or seafood.

I made this fried crab curry with coconut milk for a creamy, dreamy sauce. In Thailand, sometimes we use evaporated milk for a twist, as seen in my recipe for koong karee.

Close-up of yellow curry crab stir-fry, poo pad pong curry, in a white dish.

What’s great about this Thai curry is you can add pretty much any vegetables you like. My go-tos are onions and celery for that extra crunch and flavor, but you can toss in whatever veggies you have in the fridge.

And don’t be afraid to experiment with the flavors or turning the spice level up or down by adding more or less chilies. Thai cooking is all about adjusting things to suit your taste. In fact, in Thai restaurants, chefs taste every dish before it goes out to ensure the flavor balance is just right.

When you’re ready to serve, pair this crab stir-fry with a big bowl of steaming jasmine rice for the perfect yellow crab curry.

Best crab for stir-fry

The best crab for stir-fry is meaty and flavorful. Here are some good crab options:

  • King crab (crab legs)
  • Dungeness crab
  • Soft-shell crab
  • Blue crab
  • Mud crab

Ingredients for Thai curry crab stir-fry

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for Thai crab curry labeled: prik chi fa, garlic, celery, coconut milk, white sugar, onion, eggs, yellow curry powder, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, Thai chili paste, and crab.
  • Crab
  • Eggs – Eggs make the yellow curry sauce richer and smoother for a more delicious taste.
  • Prik chi fa – Prik chi fa are mild Thai chili peppers known for adding chili flavor and some spice to dishes without overwhelming heat.
  • Chinese celery
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Yellow curry powder
  • Light soy sauce
  • Coconut milk
  • Thai chili paste – Thai chili paste is a spicy condiment made from chili peppers, garlic, shrimp paste, and other seasonings, used to add heat and depth of flavor to Thai food.
  • Oyster sauce – Oyster sauce, crafted from oyster extracts, is a rich, savory condiment that brings a deep umami flavor to stir-fries and marinades.
  • White sugar – A hint of sweetness is essential for balancing out the spicy and savory flavors.
  • Water
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil such as canola or vegetable oil.

How to make curry crab

Thai crab curry sauce in a mixer.

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, coconut milk, white sugar, Thai chili paste, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce. Using a whisk, blend these ingredients until smooth.

Yellow curry sauce cooking in a wok.

Step 2: Place a wok over low heat and pour in the oil. Once the oil is warm, add the chopped garlic and yellow curry paste. Stir-fry for about 10 seconds, until the mixture is fragrant.

Yellow curry crab stir-fried in a wok.

Step 3: Add the crab pieces and onions and mix well with the yellow curry powder.

Crab cooking in a wok with closed lid.

Step 4: Cover the wok with a lid and adjust the heat to low-medium. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the crab is fully cooked through.

Close-up of Thai crab curry stir-fry in a wok.

Step 5: Uncover and pour in the sauce prepared in Step 1. Toss the ingredients together to ensure they are evenly coated, and cook until the eggs have set. Stir in the chopped chilies and celery, then immediately remove the wok from heat. Transfer your Thai crab curry to a serving plate and enjoy while hot.

Kitchenware

  1. Measuring spoons and cups
  2. Knife and cutting board
  3. Mixing bowl and whisk (for preparing the curry sauce)
  4. Wok or frying pan with spatula and lid

How to eat crab curry

Serve spicy crab curry with rice. You can choose to serve the curry atop the rice or in a separate dish. For a complete meal, pair it with other Thai food, like Thai calamari. For a side of noodles, try chicken pad Thai, and don’t forget a refreshing drink like Thai tea.

Storing stir-fried crab leftovers

Storing: Transfer the yellow crab leftovers into an airtight container once they’ve cooled down to room temperature. Stir-fried crab will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Reheating: Reheat your stir-fried crab gently on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally until it’s heating through.

Authentic yellow Thai curry recipes

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Thai Crab Curry Recipe (Poo Pad Pong Curry)

Top-view of Thai crab curry, poo pad pong curry, served in a white dish.
This Thai crab curry recipe, or poo pad pong curry, is easy to make and perfect for seafood lovers.
Praew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 300 g crab
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 0.5 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp Thai chili paste
  • 2 tbsps oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 20 g Chinese celery chopped
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 prik chi fa sliced, see notes
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 tbsps oil

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, coconut milk, white sugar, Thai chili paste, oyster sauce, and light soy sauce. Using a whisk, blend these ingredients until smooth.
  • Place a wok over low heat and pour in the oil. Once the oil is warm, add the chopped garlic and yellow curry paste. Stir-fry for about 10 seconds, until the mixture is fragrant.
  • Add the crab pieces and onions and mix well with the yellow curry powder.
  • Cover the wok with a lid and adjust the heat to low-medium. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the crab is fully cooked through.
  • Uncover and pour in the sauce prepared in Step 1. Toss the ingredients together to ensure they are evenly coated, and cook until the eggs have set. Stir in the chopped chilies and celery, then immediately remove the wok from heat. Transfer your Thai crab curry to a serving plate and enjoy while hot.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.

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