Sea Island Crab Fried Rice Recipe

This recipe, adapted from cookbook author Sallie Ann Robinson, is a take on crab rice, a popular dish found throughout the Lowcountry and Sea Islands, particularly in Gullah Geechie communities. In Robinson's version, sweet crabmeat is paired with precooked rice, bacon, and sautéed vegetables to make a delicious dish that is truly more than the sum of its parts. Eat Crab Fried Rice as-is, top it with a fried egg, or serve it as a side along with other seafood dishes.From Gullah Home Cooking the Daufuskie Way: Smokin' Joe Butter Beans, Ol' 'Fuskie Fried Crab Rice, Sticky-Bush Blackberry Dumpling, & Other Sea Island Favorites. Copyright ©2003 by Sallie Ann Robinson. Used by permission of The University of North Carolina Press

Fried Arkansas Black Apples
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
8 serves


  • 2 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1 medium onion)

  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper (from 1 large pepper)

  • 3/4 cup chopped celery (from 3 stalks)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic (from 3 garlic cloves)

  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts separated (from 1 bunch)

  • 1 pound fresh crabmeat, picked over

  • 4 cups cooked long-grain white rice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Cook bacon in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, turning often, until nicely browned and crisp (adjusting heat as needed to prevent burning), about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to a small bowl using a slotted spoon, and set aside. Reserve drippings in skillet.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil to drippings in skillet. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, and white parts of scallions. Cook over medium-high, tossing often, until vegetables are fragrant and tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add crabmeat to skillet, and cook, tossing occasionally, until crabmeat is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add cooked rice, salt, black pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Cook, tossing often, until rice is hot and all ingredients are combined evenly, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add parsley, green parts of scallions, and reserved bacon to skillet, and toss well to combine. Transfer crab fried rice to a serving platter, and serve hot or warm.

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