Chili Crab, Singapore Style
A large Dungeness crab is deep fried, then stir-fried with tomatoes, chilies, and garlic. Chef Philip Lo’s dramatic, spicy crab dish is prepared in a wok and serves one. Because it would be difficult to cook two or more crabs in a wok at home, the directions are for preparing one crab. You would repeat the steps for each dish you wish to make. However, you could save time by preparing and deep frying all the crabs you plan to use as a first step, before draining the hot oil and beginning to stir-fry each portion.
- Leek - 1, green part only, separated and cleaned
- Chili Crab
- Dungeness Crab - 1, 6 to 8 inches across the shell
- Canola oil - 1 quart, for deep frying
- Shallot - 1, minced
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Chinese wine - 2 tablespoons (suggested: Fa Dew)
- Chicken Stock - 2-1/2 cups
- White Vinegar - 1/4 cup
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Tomatoes - 2, peeled, seeded, and diced small
- Dried red chilies - 5, seeded and pureed
- Tomato Sauce - 6 ounces
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar - 3 teaspoons
- Potato starch or corn starch - 1/2 cup
- Cool Water - 1 cup
- Eggs - 3
- Green Onions - 1 large or 4 small, trimmed and chopped
To make the garnish: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the leek. Bring back to a boil and cook for 30 seconds. Drain, then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking nd set the color. Drain again and pat dry on paper towels. Tie each leek leaf in a knot, positioning the knot in the center. Set aside on paper towels.
To prepare the crab: Clean and wash the crab: open the big shell with your hands and pull away the interior, leaving the meat in the leg junctions. Rinse the crab with fresh cold water. Use a brush if there is any mud or sand. Pull off the large top shell. Chop off the claws and crack with nutcracker. Set aside. Cut the crab body into two or four pieces, depending on the size. Set aside; the crab is ready to use.
Heat the oil to 350 F in a wok or large saute pan or skillet. Add the crab, including the large top shell, and deep fry for about 15 seconds, until just cooked through. Remove the crab pieces. Set aside the top shell. Pour off the oil, leaving about 3 tablespoons. Add the shallot and garlic and stir-fry for about 5 seconds. Put the crab back into the wok and continue to stir-fry as you add the wine. Add the stock, vinegar, sugar, tomatoes, and pureed chilies. Cover and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and stir well, then adjust seasoning with salt and sugar. Add the top shell to the mixture. Dissolve the starch in the water and stir into the sauce to thicken. Cook for 1 more minute. Break the eggs into the mixture and stir. Add the green onion and cook for 30 seconds.
To serve: Spoon the crab mixture onto a large deep serving plate. Place the top shell over one side. Garnish with a knotted leek.