[Photograph: Yvonne Ruperti]

Notes: Crabs need to be rinsed well, cleaned, and cut into pieces. Check out this video by Sydney Fish Market on how to do it, or get your fishmonger to do it for you. I keep the creamy part inside the top shell for the extra crab flavor that it lends to the dish. If using a wok with lid, make sure that it’s supported on the stove well. I used ABC brand hot chili sauce. I found that I didn’t need to adjust my flavorings, but you may want to adjust so that it has a balance of sweet, salty, and heat from the chilies. Take care when eating the sauce—it may have bits of shell!

  • Yield:serves 2
  • Active time:15 minutes
  • Total time:15 minutes
  • Ingredients

    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 7 tablespoons peanut oil
    • 2 to 3 shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
    • 1 1/2-inch knob ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
    • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
    • 4 Thai chiles, minced
    • 2 whole Mud or Dungeness crabs (about 1 pound each), prepared (see note)
    • 2 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
    • 1/4 cup tomato paste
    • 1/2 cup hot-sweet chili sauce (see note)
    • 1 large egg, beaten
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
    • 1 cup chinese parsley leaves
    • Rice or steamed chinese buns to serve on side


    1. 1.

      In small bowl, stir cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water; set aside. In large wok with lid (or Dutch oven), heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in shallots, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.

    2. 2.

      Add crab pieces and broth. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cover loosely and gently boil (decrease heat if necessary), until crab has turned red and is nearly cooked through, about 6 minutes.

    3. 3.

      Remove cover and stir in tomato paste and chili sauce. Simmer 1 minute and season to taste with salt, sugar, or chili sauce. Stir in cornstarch and bring to boil to thicken.

    4. 4.

      Remove from heat and stir in egg. Stir in green onions. Ladle into serving dish, sprinkle with Chinese parsley, and serve.

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