• Crispy Salt & Pepper Crab Legs


Wok-Tossed Crab Legs

By Andrew Zimmern

This is a classic Chinese salt and pepper crab dish, made with beautiful Dungeness crab legs that are steamed, fried and then wok-tossed with ginger, scallions and plenty of hot chiles. You can also try this technique with lobster, shrimp or soft-shell crab.

Crispy Salt & Pepper Crab Legs


  • Peanut oil
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 8 cooked Dungeness Crab Legs
  • 5 dried hot chiles
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
  • 2 fresh Thai chiles
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 3 tablespoons sugar


Heat peanut oil to 375 degrees over high heat in a wok.

Mix together the cornstarch and rice flour in a large bowl. Dredge the crab legs in the flour mixture. Fry to crisp in several batches.

Tip-off the oil, leaving 2 tablespoons behind, and increase the heat to high.

When the wok is smoking hot, literally, add half the dried chiles, ginger, fresh chiles and scallions. Once they start to blacken, add the crab legs. Toss again, let the wok build some heat for 30 seconds and add the salt, pepper and sugar as you rotate the food across the wok surface.

Toss a few times and serve.

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