Baked Crab with Spring Onions and Ginger

This recipe is far less complicated than it looks and will delight the eyes as much as the taste buds.


serves 4
1 large or 2 medium crabs, about 675 g (l 1/2 lb) in total
30 ml (2 tbsp) Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 egg, lightly beaten
15 ml (1 tbsp) cornflour
45 - 60 (3 - 4 tbsp) vegetable oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped fresh root ginger
3 - 4 spring onions, cut into short lengths
30 ml (2 tbsp) soy sauce
5 ml (1 tsp) light brown sugar
about 75 ml (5 tbsp) Basic Stock
few drops of sesame oil


1. Cut the crab in half from the underbelly. Break off the claws and crack them with the back of a cleaver. Discard the legs and crack the shell, breaking it into several pieces. Discard the feathery gills and the sac. Put the pieces of crab in a bowl.

2. Mix together the rice wine or dry sherry, egg and cornflour and pour over the crab. Leave to marinate for 10 - 15 minutes.

3. Heat the oil in a preheated wok. Add the crab pieces, ginger and spring onions and stir-fry for about 2 - 3 minutes.

4. Add the soy sauce, sugar and stock I and blend well. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and braise for 3 - 4 minutes.Transfer the crab to a serving dish, sprinkle with the sesame oil and serve.

For the very best flavour, buy a live crab and cook it yourself. However, if you prefer to buy a cooked crab, look for one that feels heavy for its size. This is an indication that it has fully grown into its shell and that there will be plenty of meat. Male crabs have larger claws, so vill yield a greater proportion of white meat. However, females — identifiable by a broader, less-pointed tail flap — may contain coral, which many people regard as a delicacy.

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