Is it a vegetable? Is it meat? Nope – its fruit! A tropical fruit that grows on the trees throughout Fiji and other tropical countries. When I was younger I’d see my parents get a whole fresh jackfruit from the Asian markets and it was the most intimidating thing I’d ever seen. I refused to eat it because I couldn’t imagine it tasting good. Here I am in my thirties now posting about how much I love a food I once refused to eat. In fact a part of me is still intimated by the spikey nature of this fruit, that I opt for the canned or frozen version of jackfruit.
Okay so I have to be completely honest here, I am petrified of preparing crabs. My father has always taken care of the purchasing, killing and cleaning of the crabs. They have always scared me. In fact I remember having a nightmare as a child of a crab chasing me down the stairs at my childhood home. (if my cousin Ameeta is reading this YOU KNOW!) Ha, I know it sounds crazy but I am not exaggerating. So yes, truth be told my dad did clean the crabs for me for this recipe and probably will for as long as he can! lol.
However, if you are like me and this may be the first time you are cleaning a crab, I’ve researched that a humane way of killing crabs is to put them in the freezer for about two hours, then when you take them out you can remove their legs. Remove their top shell and clean out the insides.
Whenever you are making crabs you should always cook the crab within 1 or 2 days of purchasing the crab, while the meat is at its freshest. In the past we’ve tried to freeze crab but the meat becomes hard to get out of the shell and just not as juicy as when it is cooked fresh.
As the weather gets colder in New England, it’s the perfect season to make this rich, warm dish. The aromas that fill our home while making palau are nostalgic. No matter where I’ve lived or traveled, there is a certain scent that will always make me feel like I’m home. For me it is the homemade Fiji masala that is sautéed with onions and garlic. There really is no describing it. You have to LIVE it to understand. My husband on the other hand is always looking for the incense and a lighter after I’m done cooking, along with opening windows. He doesn’t embrace the aromas as well as I do. Ha ha!