Outer Banks Spicy Red Crab Soup

Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 6-8 Servings

I heard that this recipe was made popular at the old Trawl Door Restaurant in the town of Oriental, North Carolina. But the fact is that there are many small Asian hamlets along our Southern coast that can very well lay claim to such soup.


2 pounds jumbo lump crabmeat
2 tbsps cornstarch
1 quart shellfish or chicken stock (see recipe), divided
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 cup mince red onions
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup julienned red bell pepper
1/4 cup julienned yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced garlic
3/4 cup diced carrots 
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes, with liquid
1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn, thawed
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon grass
Old Bay seasoning to taste
salt and red pepper flakes to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1/4 cup minced parsley
lemon grass leaves for garnish


Blend cornstarch in 2 cups stock and set aside. Gently pick through crabmeat, taking care not to break lumps, and discard any shells or cartilage. Place in refrigerator. In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, heat oils over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, sliced garlic and carrots and saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted, stirring frequently. Add bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, cornstarch mixture, remaining stock and tomatoes. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce to simmer and cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn, green onions and sliced lemon grass then season to taste using Old Bay seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes and granulated garlic. When ready to serve, divide crabmeat equally among serving bowls. Ladle boiling soup over crabmeat in bowls. The hot soup will warm crabmeat thoroughly and allow it to retain its fresh moist texture. Garnish with parsley and lemon grass leaves.