This isn’t really a recipe entry… It’s more so about being grateful. I’m sorry, it’s long-winded, but of course, it relates to food! And there is a short recipe at the end.

When my Husband got promoted this winter we had to pack up and move our lives across the country with barely any notice. One minute I was telling our friends that I didn’t think we were going to go and the next minute our house was on the market and strangers were walking around looking in all of the rooms. Our house sold in 6 days, and just like that, movers were packing everything we owned.

We spent the next few months bouncing around. We stayed with family over the Holidays, then moved to temporary housing in Vancouver while we were house hunting. After that, we moved into an AirBNB while we waited to get possession of our new home. The AirBNB was tiny, dark, and a “little” dirty.

As someone who likes to blow off steam by getting in the kitchen, I was really having a hard time with our Vancouver accommodations. Our first apartment came with a fully equipped kitchen, but the knives were dangerously dull and our smoke detector was so sensitive that it would go off almost 50% of the time I was cooking. Something as simple as a sunny side up egg in a non-stick pan could result in a deafening, ear-piercing alarm that would send our pets running under the furniture. Our AirBNB didn’t have more than two forks and two butter knives.

This week we got possession of our new home, and the movers delivered our belongings on the same day we got the keys. Tonight, after days of unpacking, I went into the kitchen for the first time and pulled out my cast iron wok to make a quick snack. I opted for a Red Chili Crab stirfry, cause it only takes about 5-10 minutes and it’s not overly filling. It’s best to think of it as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre.

When I put the cast iron on the stove, pulled out my own wooden cutting board, and grabbed the same Thai chopping knife I had used almost every day for years, I instantly felt at home in our new house. I was so relieved to finally have my own cooking supplies back.  I glanced around anxiously for the smoke detector as I poured peanut oil into the wok, but it never went off.

New Kitchen
Essentials In My Kitchen: Cast Iron Wok, Wooden Cutting Board & Thai Chopping Knife

When the chili crab was ready, I took it out on the back deck and ate it while I watched the birds. It was the first time since we arrived in Vancouver over two months ago that I actually felt at home.


Back Deck
New Deck!


This isn’t a recipe I would serve to company. It’s messy, and given the small size of the crab, it’s a lot of work to access to meat. But it’s also delicious, and it turns out exactly what I needed to cook for my very first homemade meal in our new home.

NOTE: This recipe uses Blue Swimming Crab. They are very small, delicate, and not always readily available. If you do not have access to Blue Swimming Crab, use whatever you have available. The crab in this recipe probably equates to about 1/4-1/3 of a pound of snow crab. 

Recipe for Chili Crab 

4 Raw Blue Swimming Crab
1 Teaspoon of Peanut Oil
1 Teaspoon of Chili Flakes in Oil
1 Tomato (Diced)
2 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
1/4 Red Onion (Diced)
1-2 Green Onion (Diced)
1/2 Inch of Ginger (Peeled and Minced)
Cilantro (Chopped)
1 Lime (Juiced)

Instructions for Chili Crab: 

1: Preheat a wok over medium-high heat. Pour in your peanut oil and your chili flakes. Stir. Add in your onion and ginger. Saute for 1-2 minutes.

Wok With Onion and Ginger

2: Toss in Garlic and tomatoes. Cook for about 1 minute.

3: Add in your crab meat and green onion. Saute for 1-2 minutes, then cover. Allow your crab to cook through

Crab Meat

4: Once your crab has cooked through, squeeze fresh lime juice over your meat and toss in fresh cilantro.

5: Serve garnished with lime wedges!

Chili Crab



  1. A great dish and a great recipe. Having lived in Vancouver (Kitts) I can remember those swimming crab you could get in the Old China Town (gone now I think) and at Granville Market. Vancouver is a great foodie city, so many restaurants to choose from. I think you’ll have many lovely evenings on the fine deck. Welcome home.

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