Wok-Tossed Twice-Cooked Soft Crabs
Wok-Tossed Twice-Cooked Soft Crabs—Fu Xian-Style
- 12 jumbo soft crabs
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 cups peanut oil
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 12 scallions, cut in 2-inch lengths
- 5 dried red chiles
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup thinly shaved shallots
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red and green hot chiles (I like to use 2 red jalapeños, 4 serranos and a piece of a habañero to round out the heat; you can also use small red and green Thai chiles)
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or sake
- 3 tablespoons sugar, or more to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
To clean the crabs, rinse under cold water. Using a sharp kitchen shears, cut the face off the crab, then flip the crab over and peel back the sides to expose the layer of whitish gills. Peel off all the gills on both sides. Remove the apron of the crab (the triangular flap, next to the gills on the bottom) by twisting off. The crabs are now ready to cook. Toss with kosher salt, and let sit for 15 minutes.
Press crab in a dry dish towel to remove moisture.
Heat peanut oil to 375 degrees F in a wok over high heat.
Dip crab in egg whites, then dredge in cornstarch. Working in batches, fry until crisp.
Pour off the oil, leaving 2 tablespoons behind, and increase the heat. When smoking, add the crab, scallions and chiles. Toss to coat, adding the sea salt, white pepper and sugar as you rotate the food across the wok surface.
Toss and serve with dipping sauce.
Combine all ingredients. Use immediately.