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Steamed Crabmeat and Coconut Milk Custards

Steaming is essential for gently heating the egg base of these Thai-inspired savory custards, which are laced with lemongrass and ginger. Serve them as first courses or light main courses with sliced toasted baguette.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January 2006


  • 2 2/3 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 lemongrass stalks, bottom 8 inches only, crushed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves and stems, plus leaves for sprinkling
  • 6 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound lump crabmeat, picked over and patted dry with paper towel
  • Crisp toasts or crackers, for serving


  1. Bring coconut milk, lemongrass, ginger, and cilantro to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour.

  2. Pour through a fine sieve into a medium bowl; discard solids. Whisk in egg yolks, salt, and pepper. Ladle into four 8-ounce, 2-inch-high ramekins. Divide crabmeat evenly among ramekins; sprinkle each with 3 or 4 cilantro leaves.

  3. Fill a large pot fitted with a round wire rack or a steamer insert with enough water to just come up to rack. Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Carefully place ramekins in steamer; cover pot. Steam custards over medium heat, checking occasionally to make sure water doesn't completely evaporate, until just set, 18 to 25 minutes. Place each custard on a saucer. Serve immediately with crisp toasts or crackers.

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