Chili Crab

Total Time:
45 min
15 min
30 min

4 to 6 servings

  • 2 large live Dungeness crabs, each about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds
  • 10 -12 fresh red chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped or 6 dried Asian chiles (3 inches long), stemmed, seeded, chopped and soaked in warm water to cover for 10 minutes, drained
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional
  • For the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, such as Nam Pla
  • 1/3 cup Thai sweet chile sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons sliced scallion for garnish
  • Slices of white bread as an accompaniment, if desired
  • In a casserole or large pot of boiling salted water, add the crabs and cook them for about 1 minute, or until no longer moving. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.

  • To clean the crabs pull off top shells; pull and twist off each apron; remove gills. With sharp knife cut crabs into quarters, rinse and drain.

  • In mortor and pestle or small food processor pound or process chiles, garlic, shallots and ginger with a little oil if necessary.

  • Combine all sauce ingredients.

  • Heat a wok over moderately high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until hot. Add chili and garlic paste and stir-fry 1 minute. Add crabs and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until shells turn red. Add sauce ingredients, bring to boil and simmer, covered, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer crabs to serving dish.

  • Bring sauce in wok to a boil. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to wok. Simmer until thickened. Gradually add eggs in a stream, whisking, and cook for 1 minute. Pour sauce over crabs and garnish with scallion.

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