Mud crab sticky rice (紅蟳米糕) is a traditional, classical dish in the Southern Taiwan. It was first served during the “ban do”, which is Taiwan’s unique roadside banquet. Back in the old days, it is a ritual to have wedding banquets on the streets, at the side of the road. It’s an original and unique part of Taiwan’s culinary culture.
It’s an experience that I will never forget. These type of banquets are set up under a large tents, and the caterer prepares the food on-site. The order of the dishes serve are planned meticulously, since each dish has its own “meaning”. Many rituals and restrictions must be followed, such as the choice of dishes, the serving order, and the seating.
The dish mud crab sticky rice is indispensable in the banquet, especially wedding banquets. The mud crabs used are mainly the female ones, which has a lot of roes (eggs). It signifies a propitiatory compliment to the newly-weds, which ones wish them to have children soon.
It’s a popular banquet dish, but it’s also a childhood favorite of mine. Though the prepping process can be a mess and troublesome, but there’s no fuss with cooking, and it’s simple. All you need is a rice cooker!
- 3 Medium-sized mud crabs (preferably female)
- 3 cups Glutinous rice
- ¾ cup Water*
- ¾ cup Rice wine*
- Clean/Scrub the mud crabs thoroughly
- Measure the glutinous rice, water, and rice wine as indicated into the inner tray of the rice cooker
- Break the crabs into pieces
- Scoop out the raw roes/eggs of the crab and place them on the rice
- Place the crabs onto the rice
- Start the rice cooker
- When it beeps, it's ready!
- Drizzle with some soy sauce (~1 teaspoon) upon serving
**If the rice is not fully cooked, take out the crab, and add ⅛ cup of water, and cook the rice again