Stir-Fried Garlic Crab

December 18, 2007 | Chuck
Stir-Fried Garlic Crab

Dungeness crab season started late this year in San Francisco because of the terrible oil spill in the bay. We were lucky that the spill wasn't worse, and Dungeness crab season was only delayed for a few weeks. Still, I was worried that we wouldn't have crab for Sunday night dinner before all of us left for the holidays.

My parents came to the rescue by sending Jane and Mark a Christmas gift, crab crackers and forks. I had no idea they were sending them a gift, and Jane was especially surprised and happy. Jane wanted to christen the crab tools with a dinner of Dungeness crabs. Way to go Mom and Dad!

On Sunday, Jane picked up crabs at Sun Fat Seafood Company, where they quartered and removed the gills for her. The crabs were a reasonable $3.99 a pound. With the dismantled crab, Garry made stir-fried garlic crab. It's a really simple recipe with a lot of garlic... think garlic fries. We used three heads of garlic for four Dungeness crabs.

The crabs were served with a side of brussels sprouts with Chinese sausage and jasmine rice. The olive oil and garlic from the crabs were great mixed in with the plain white rice. To enhance the sweet crab meat, we dipped the chunks in a salt, black pepper and lime juice mix.

Dinner was delicious and was literally finger licking good. It's definitely a meal you eat with close friends who don't care about table etiquette. We really enjoyed eating with our hands and making a mess. I was particularly elated each time I was able to pull out a big hunk of crab meat from a claw.

Thanks again, Má and Ba, for sending the gift and motivating us to make garlic Dungeness crabs!

SNDsters: Karen, Garry, Mark, Jane, Hungry Bear, Chuck

Stir-Fried Garlic Crab Recipe

The recipe calls for whole crabs. If you want to save time or are squeamish with live crabs, ask your fish monger to quarter the crabs and remove the gills for you.

4 live Dungeness crabs, 1 1/2 pounds each
1/4 cup good olive oil
3 heads garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste
1 lime, cut into wedges

1) Fill a large stock pot with 3-4 inches of water. Add steamer basket or colander insert, cover and bring water to a boil. When the water is heating, place the crabs into the freezer for 10-15 minutes to knock the crabs out, making them easier to handle.

2) When the water is at a boil, remove crabs from freezer and place them into colander insert. Cover and steam for 20 minutes, until the shells are bright red.

3) Once cooked, remove the crabs with a pair of tongs. Rinse crabs under cold water briefly before dismantling. Remove shell, reserve crab butter (soft yellow matter and green spongy stuff) and remove gills. Quarter the crabs with a big knife, leaving the legs attached to the four sections.

4) Working in batches, if necessary, heat the olive oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the garlic, salt and reserved crab butter and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add quartered crab sections and toss to cover with garlic and oil. Stir-fry the crabs for 4-5 minutes.  Adjust salt to taste. Serve with jasmine rice and a squeeze of lime or with dipping sauce.

Salt, Pepper and Lime Dipping Sauce

2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1) In a small bowl, mix lime juice, salt and pepper.

2) That's it!

Serves 6

[tags]dungeness, crab, garlic, brussels sprouts, stir fry, lime, sausage, seafood, lop chong[/tags]

5 Comments on “Stir-Fried Garlic Crab”

  1. Jane said:

    Actually, the crabs were from Sun Fat Seafood Company:

  2. Chuck said:

    A ha, I thought it was a Chinese place… corrected in the post. Thanks!

  3. Tondy said:

    I loved it..

  4. DJ said:

    Can soft shell crabs be used?


  1. Seafood! - - Asian Social Networking Community

    […] Garlic Crab is one of my favorites ^I don’t know if this is the correct recipe. I never made it myself. […]

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