Pity the other dishes at the dinner table when crab is served. Everyone is so focused on getting to every last bit of scrumptious crab meat, and slurping with pleasure, that by the time they're done, all the other food has become cold. And anti-climatic.
Like whole lobster and monster sushi rolls, crab is not a first date food. It's messy, and I have yet to meet anyone who looks attractive eating it. That said, if you want to make a great easy dish for intimate friends and family members (a.k.a. people you don't need to impress), give this crab recipe a try.
I learned this recipe from my grandpa, who loves crab so much he eats it once a week (apparently fresh crab at the wet market is even cheaper in Hong Kong than it is in mainland China.) And his method requires little more than ginger, scallions, and a cup of just-boiled salted water. No soy sauce, corn starch, or even rice wine needed.
Just be sure to get your crab crackers and picks ready.
More Chinese seafood recipes to try:
Ginger and Scallion Steamed Crab
- 2 pounds whole crab
- 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil
- 1 small piece ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk scallion, cut to 2-inch lengths
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Clean and separate the crab into pieces: rinse well under cold water, carefully removing the yellow gills or spongy insides. Twist apart the legs and claws. With the blunt side of the cleaver, crack the legs and larger front claws and set aside. (This makes the crab easier to eat after it's cooked.)
- In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in salt.
- Heat oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Stir-fry ginger and scallions until aromatic, about 1 minutes. Add crab pieces and stir-fry for another minute. Add salted water, then cover the wok and let the crab steam for 10 minutes. Transfer to serving dish.