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  Calaloo: Crab and Coconut Spinach Stew

Calaloo: Crab and Coconut Spinach Stew

Calaloo: Crab and Coconut Spinach Stew from Chef in Residence Carla Hall


  • 3 strips of bacon
  • 1 large green bell pepper (stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice)
  • 1 small yellow onion (peeled, finely diced)
  • 4 scallions (green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled, minced)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chile (slit open)
  • 1 pound king crab legs (cut into individual legs)
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pound baby spinach
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)


In a large, deep skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat, turning occasionally, until the fat has rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels, crumble, and reserve. To the fat in the pan, add the bell pepper, onion, scallions, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is just translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the thyme and chile. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the crab legs and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, coconut milk, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Transfer the crab legs, chile, and thyme sprigs to a dish. Discard the chile and thyme. Stir the spinach into the skillet and cook until it wilts, about 1 minute. Transfer to a blender and puree until finely chopped. Season to taste with salt, keeping in mind that both the bacon and crab are naturally salty. Transfer the pureed spinach to a serving bowl, and top with the bacon and crab legs.