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I don’t claim that this Scallion Ginger Cantonese crab is an easy recipe to make, but follow these step-by-step directions and you'll be in for a real treat. This recipe tutorial will teach you how to prepare live crabs for this iconic Cantonese crab dish
Recipe type: Fish and Seafood
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: Serves 2
  • 3 live blue crab or similar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons oil
  • 4-5 slices of ginger
  • 4 scallions
  • 3 tablespoons shaoxing wine (measure it out in a small cup before you start cooking)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  1. Clean and prep the crabs for cooking (see step-by-step instructions within this post).
  2. Take each of the crab halves and lightly dredge each large piece in a light coating of flour. Transfer to a clean plate along with the claws and shells. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the crab pieces.
  3. Heat a wok with 4 tablespoons of oil, spreading the oil around the wok so it heats evenly. You know you have reached the right temperature when you start to see just a little (not a lot!) of smoke on the sides of the wok. Now quickly place each of the large pieces of crab in the oil and spread the claws and shells around the outside portion of the wok. Next, quickly tilt the wok around in a circle to get the oil spread around to all of the crab pieces, keeping the heat on high. After another 15 seconds of this, use a spatula and roll the pieces around the oil for another 15 seconds. Turn off the heat and remove to a plate or small sheet pan.
  4. Clean the wok, add 2 tablespoons of oil and toss in the ginger pieces until they are just starting to caramelize (15 seconds) and then add half of the scallions – use the white pieces for this step.
  5. Keep the heat on high and move quickly to add the crab to wok and toss the crab around with your spatula to get some good sizzle. After about 10 seconds, add the wine in a circle around the pan and immediately cover the wok and turn the heat down to medium. Let the crab cook for 2-3 minutes. During this process, it is best to hold the cover and tilt the wok so the liquid hits the hot sides of the wok and you hear and see a sizzle generating that elusive “wok hay” flavor. If you have no sizzle, the heat is too low.
  6. Remove the cover and spread the rest of the scallions over the crab. Add the sugar, white pepper and soy sauce. Give everything a good mix for another 10 seconds. Plate and serve!
Recipe by The Woks of Life at