My mom is my Chinese food help hotline. Whenever I have any questions, I always pick up the phone and have a little discussion with her. Whether she's made the dish or not, it's always a gift to be able to bounce ideas off her. There is always a plan to be formulated, whether it's a direct result of experience from making the particular dish, or just working our way through it via other dishes we've made. I am fortunate to have such a resource.
With my 'wing it' attitude, I have to admit, I often cannot remember how I've made something in the past. Hence, the birth of the blog. For tonight's crab, I wondered, is it right to steam it first? Should I use corn starch or tempura mix? Thank goodness, as usual, for mom.
1 live Dungeness crab, weighing 1.5-2 lbs
1/2 cup tempura mix, I used Hime
2 Scallions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp minced ginger
1 tsp Spicy Salt and Pepper (3/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns, pinch of five spice powder)
Steam the crab for about 5-6 minutes. This will not fully cook the crab, but will allow you to clean and work with it more easily, as well as fry it at a high temp for a short amount of time. Once the crab is cool enough to handle, clean the crab and separate it into smaller pieces. Alternatively, you can buy a whole cooked crab and have the fish monger clean it for you.
Dust the crab with the tempura mix.
Heat a couple cups of peanut or vegetable oil to 375f in a large wok. Fry the crab for a couple of minutes. Do this in batches if needed. Drain on paper towels.In your wok, add 2 tsp oil, and fry the scallion, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Then add in the crab and the spicy salt and pepper, and mix quickly. Salty, spicy, tongue numbing deliciousness.