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Chili Crab

Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Far East Cafe
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Active Time:  20 Minutes
Total Time:  20 Minutes
  Serves 2
A somewhat messy affair, chili crab is not for the timid or the meticulously neat. Whole chunks of crab in the shell are stir-fried in sizzling hot oil over high heat and then coated with a rich and tangy tomato sauce. Forget all formalities and eat with your hands.
1 whole dungeness crab, 2 - 2 1/2 lb, preferably live
For Sauce:
5 cloves garlic
1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches long, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 fresh small red chili peppers, seeded
3 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon mild sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon yellow bean sauce, optional
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken stock

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut oil or corn oil
1 extra-large egg
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 green onion (spring onion), chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Chili Crab Recipe at
If using a live crab, bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil. Grab the crab by its smallest leg or grip the body with a long pair of tongs and plunge it into the boiling water. Remove the crab when it turns bright orange, about 1 minute. Rinse the crab under cold running water. (If you have purchased the crab precooked, simply rinse briefly under cold running water.)

Turn the crab onto its back and lift up and snap off the V-shaped apron from the "tail." Turn the crab onto its stomach, grip the shell where the apron was and pull the shell off the body. Pull away and discard the feathery gills on both sides of the body. Break off the claws and legs from the body. Using a cleaver or heavy chef's knife, cut the body in half down the middle. Cut each half into 3 pieces. Using a nutcracker, crack the joint and midsection of all the legs and claws. Set aside the prepared crab.

FOR SAUCE: In a mortar or blender, combine the garlic, ginger and chilies and mash with a pestle or blend to a paste. In a bowl, stir together the catsup, Sriracha sauce, yellow bean sauce (if using), sugar, salt, soy sauce and chicken stock. Set both mixtures aside.

Just before cooking, toss the crab pieces with the cornstarch; set aside. In a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When the oil is hot, add the crab pieces and brown lightly for about 3 minutes. Add the reserved ginger paste and stir-fry, coating the crab with the paste, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Mix in the catsup mixture and cover the wok. Raise the heat to high and simmer briskly for 5 minutes if the crab was live, or 2 minutes if the crab was precooked.

Remove the cover. The sauce should be slightly thickened. Crack the egg directly into the wok and stir to scramble slightly. Add the lime juice and green onion and gently fold them into the sauce just until the egg is set and incorporated with the sauce. There should be specks of scrambled egg peeking through the sauce.

TO SERVE: Transfer the crab to a serving dish. Garnish with the lime wedges and serve hot.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 2
Calories: 805
Fat. Total: 35g
Fiber: 4g
Carbohydrates, Total: 35g
Sodium: 3632mg
% Cal. from Fat: 39%
Cholesterol: 391mg
Protein: 87g
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