In a heatproof bowl, combine the onions, scallions, bell peppers, garlic, peppers, salt, and thyme.
In a small non-reactive saucepan combine water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Pour over the onion mixture in the bowl and stir. Allow to cool. Stir in the lime juice and vegetable oil. (The sauce can be prepared up to this point 2 days in advance, tightly covered, and refrigerated.) Before serving, bring to room temperature and stir in the chopped cilantro. Serve drizzled over the stuffed crabmeat mixture.
Preheat the broiler.
In a skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the soy sauce, garlic, celery, onion, parsley, scallions, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until vegetables are begin to soften. Add the lime juice and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, crushed red pepper, crabmeat, and water and stir to mix well. Add 3 tablespoons of the bread crumbs and salt, and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and with a spoon divide the crab mixture evenly among the 6 crab shells. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining tablespoon of bread crumbs and broil until golden brown on top, about 3 to 4 minutes. Serve with the sauce spooned over the top.
Yield: 6 appetizer portions