Pan Fried Dungeness Crab with a Cantonese inspired Ginger-Lemongrass Sauce, Sweet Rice Salad and Daikon Sticks

Serves 2

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The crab portion of this recipe is based on a Tom Douglas recipe from his cookbook Seattle Kitchen.

Dungeness Crab and Ginger-Lemongrass Sauce

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
1/2 cup 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 paste
1 teaspoon Chinese fermented black beans with garlic
1 teaspoon Chinese hot sauce (the chunky red kind from dim sum)
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, cleaned, cut into quarters 
sweet rice salad and 3“x1/4″ daikon sticks for side dishes

1. To make the ginger-lemongrass 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 paste, hot sauce 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.

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, add the sake, and cover. Allow them 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 2–3 minutes.

On a large plate or platter, arrange the crab. 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 sweet rice salad and daikon sticks 

Sweet Rice Salad

Serves 6

1 1/2 cup Japanese “sweet rice”
1 1/2 cups water 
1/2 cup diced water chestnuts
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 red bell pepper diced
1/4 cup nori fumi furikake (Japanese rice seasoning)

1.  Use a Japanese variety of sweet rice. It is a very sticky, slightly sweet product with small rounded grains. Add this rice to a fine mesh sieve and thoroughly rinse it under running water. 

2. Cook the rice in salted water according to package instructions.

3. While the rice is still warm add the remaining ingredients stirring often until well combined. You may need additional vinegar to achieve a good sticky consistency. Serve alongside the crab with plenty of the sauce from the crab pan.