Thursday, November 11, 2010

Spicy Salt and Pepper Dungeness Crab

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.  


  1. Gonna try it tonight! Great picture! Looks yummy!

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