Black Pepper Mud Crab

Black Pepper Mud Crab

Serves 4

Place mud crab in freezer for 1 hour to send it to sleep. Once asleep, remove the crab from the freezer and work quickly: turn the crab upside down and make an incision with a sharp, heavy knife into the middle of the body, driving the knife down between the eyes. You can now pull the body out of the shell.

Discard the tail, lungs and stomach sack. Wash the crab thoroughly under water to remove any mud and scrub the shells with a clean sponge. Separate the claws and knuckles, and cut body pieces into 4-6 pieces. Using the back of heavy knife, carefully crack claws and knuckles. This makes it much easier to hoe into later.

In a wok on medium-high heat, melt the butter and bring it to bubbling point. Just as the butter is starting to foam, saute the garlic and ginger. Keep stirring and once fragrant (around 2 minutes), add the pepper and cook for a further 1 minute, before adding chicken stock, oyster sauce, sugar, konbu extract and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sauce simmer and reduce by one third. Add the green shallot batons and cook for 30 seconds before turning the heat off the wok. Keep warm

In a separate large wok or deep fryer, bring vegetable oil to 180°C.

Dust the crabmeat pieces in potato starch and set aside. Gently lower the claws and knuckles straight into the hot oil. Cook for 2 minutes and then add in the potato starch-dusted body pieces and cook for another 2 minutes. Be careful as the oil may spit.

Once cooked, turn the wok with the sauce back on, and add the crab pieces. Toss until all pieces are liberally coated. Once this is done, add the shaoxing wine and sesame oil and remove from heat.

To Serve

Divide crab pieces between 4 plates. Top with coriander and green shallots. Serve immediately.

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