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Crabs Cantonese

Crabs Cantonese

This is one of our favorite dishes in Cantonese restaurants, where it is also called crab soong. Basically, it's made with the same sauce as shrimp with lobster sauce: a rich, pork-flecked, egg-thickened creation that tastes great with shellfish. In the crab dish, the sauce is usually darkened by a little soy sauce. Serves 4 as part of a Chinese dinner

SKU 930-Recipes

  • 4 Serves


  • 3 tablespoons fermented black beans
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 8 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 large dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 1 hour
  • 1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 6 live blue crabs
  • 2 tablespoons shao-hsing (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1/2 cup pork stock (or chicken stock)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 eggs, loosely beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


  1. Place the black beans in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the ground pork in a mixing bowl. Take 1/2 teaspoon of the minced garlic, mash it to a paste, and add it to the pork. Add 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon of the sugar. Remove the mushrooms from the soaking water, and mince to a fine paste. Add to the pork mixture with the optional MSG. Blend well and reserve.
  3. Place a large wok over the highest heat. After 1 minute, add the peanut oil. After another minute, add the remaining minced garlic, half the minced scallions, and the grated ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove the black beans from their soaking liquid, smash them with the side of a cleaver, and add to the wok.
  4. Push the black bean mixture to the side of the wok, and add the reserved pork mixture, breaking it up into small clumps. When the pork is just cooked through (about 1 minute), push to the side of the wok.
  5. Twist off the large crab claws, and remove the broad top shell of the crabs. Cut the remaining crab bodies into 2 halves (or have the fishmonger do this just before you bring them home). Add all crab pieces (including the top shells) to the wok and stir-fry over high heat until crabs are just cooked, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. While the crab is cooking, heat the shao-hsing, the pork stock, the remaining teaspoon of soy sauce, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in a small saucepan until boiling.
  7. When the crab is cooked, stir everything together into the wok, and add the boiling pork stock mixture. Return to a boil. Mix the cornstarch in a small bowl with just enough water to make a liquid with the consistency of heavy cream. Swirl some of it in to the wok- just enough to make a medium-thick sauce.
  8. Remove wok from heat, and add eggs. Stir well until eggs are heated but still runny, just lightly thickened. Add the sesame oil. Turn out onto a serving platter, sprinkle with remaining scallions, and serve immediately.