Recipe courtesy of Tom Douglas

Whole Dungeness Wok Fried Crab

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  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 10 min
  • Yield: 1 to 2 servings
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3 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon chopped green onion, white and green parts

2 teaspoons finely minced lemon grass, tender white part only

1/2 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and julienned

2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

5 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup chicken stock, homemade or low sodium canned

5 teaspoons soy sauce

2 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons Chinese chili garlic paste

1 teaspoon coarsely chopped Chinese fermented black beans

2 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water

1/4 cup sake

1 Dungeness crab (about 1 1/2 pounds), cooked, top shell removed and reserved, cleaned, cracked in half, cut into sections, and claws cracked


  1. To make the lemon grass sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a small saucepan on medium-high heat. Saute the green onions, lemon grass, red bell pepper, ginger, and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili garlic paste, and black beans. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the dissolved cornstarch and simmer, stirring frequently, until the sauce becomes glossy and thickens, about 2 more minutes. Set aside. 
  2. To wok-fry the crab, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok over high heat until almost smoking. Toss in the crab pieces (including the carapace or top shell), add the sake, and cover. Allow to steam 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon grass sauce and simmer until the crab is heated through and the sauce thickens to desired consistency, about 1 to 2 minutes. 
  3. On a large plate or platter, arrange the crab with the carapace (top shell) back on top so it looks roughly like a whole crab again and pour all the sauce over and around it. You'll need crab-crackers, a side bowl for the shells, a stack of napkins, and bowls of warm lemon water to clean your hands. Serve this with steamed white rice.