For live dungeness crab, I visited my favorite spot, Wong Tung Seafood, Inc. in the International District. As previously mentioned with my crab cakes posting, this is the place to go for the best deal on live, meaty dungeness crabs. Price fluctuates, but I find, no matter what, theirs is always the freshest and liveliest at the best price. Today they were $5/lb. They also carry various other items, like live lobster at $8/lb, and now in season, live spot prawns at $10/lb. Of course, I did not leave the store without a pound of spot prawns for an appetizer. Get them while they are live and in season!
I am always torn between eating dungeness crab simply steamed, dipped in butter, or my favorite, ginger and sweetened vinegar or cooking the crab in a sauce of some sort. It's been years since I've wok fried any crab. The former always wins when it comes right down to it. But today, I forced myself to go the wok route.
I started by steaming the crab until par cooked, about 7 minutes. I find that cleaning the crab while it is alive results in the meat clinging/sticking to the shell of the crab. So, par steaming it keeps this from happening. Then I cleaned them and separated them into pieces and cracked the shells of the legs. I then marinated the crab in rice wine and corn starch for about 20 minutes.
With a little oil in the wok, fry sliced scallions, ginger, and garlic until fragrant. To this I added:
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 tsp sesame oil
Toss in the crab pieces and wok fry for a few minutes, stirring to mix well. Serve with plenty of napkins. It's a messy one!
The spot prawns were simply boiled and served with a soy, rice vinegar and ginger dipping sauce. My favorite is to fry the heads until they are crispy like chips. They will do this for you if you order the sashimi prawn at a sushi restaurant. I was not up for deep frying today, boiled will have to do.
The wok fried noodles were the same recipe as a previous post, only substituting in crimini mushrooms and snap peas.
The crab was delicious and yes, messy. Get a bib and finger bowl ready. The spot prawns were oh so sweet and delicate, and the noodles were the favorite with the girls.