Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wok-Grilled Snow Crab

Developed during 2010 when crab was 3 bucks (USD) a pound locally. The problem with frozen cold-water crab is that it has been subjected to a roiling boil in sea water on the trawler and then frozen. This produces a product that needs to be prepared without further disruption of its texture and dilution of flavor. This stir-fry method uses gentle re-heating without water or steam. It yields a product that is flavorsome and satisfying. Serves 3. A SIGNATURE DISH.
about 3 lbs (about 1.5 kg) frozen snow crab clusters
canola oil
roasted sesame oil
soy sauce (Kikkoman™ is good)
granulated garlic
Old Bay® seasoning mix 
Thaw the crab completely in a colander over a container or sink. Keep it cold after thawing if necessary under a layer of wet newspaper, covered with ice. Prepare the crab by lightly striking the larger leg segments with the side of a heavy cleaver to crack the shell.
Heat a large wok over medium high
heat (setting 6 to 7) and add a few tablespoons of oil. When smoking, cautiously pile on the crab segments with tongs, and cover. Handle the crab with tongs and a wok paddle during cooking. With a gentle inverting motion (to keep the clusters intact), turn the stack of crabs from time to time as they fry. Add oil if necessary. After five minutes or so, drizzle on a few teaspoons of roasted sesame oil, and stir to coat. Sprinkle on a few tablespoons of soy sauce, the garlic powder, and Old Bay to taste. Continue to stir fry until crab is thoroughly reheated and invested with a mahogany sheen.
Serve with crusty warm sourdough bread and provide a range of opening and picking tools. My favorite is a heavy kitchen shears with a serrated bite and sharp tips. A young fresh wine is perfect with the dish. The leftover crab meat is well worth picking to make Quick Corn and Crab Chowder for a tasty lunch.