The minute I saw this recipe, I knew I wanted to make it -- the overall flavor palate was so appealing. I made the dish exactly as the recipe is written, cooked exactly as prescribed. The result was pure black pepper. The 1 1/2 tablespoons completely overpowered the other ingredients. Given the expense of the crab and the extensive time it took to make the dish, it will be a while before I try it again. For sure, I'll start with a third as much pepper and go from there.
Cracked Crab with Lemongrass, Black Pepper, and Basil
Photo: Peden & Munk; Styling: Amy Wilson
More From Sunset
1 Hour, 15 Minutes
Amount per serving
- Calories: 351
- Calories from fat: 35%
- Protein: 35g
- Fat: 13g
- Saturated fat: 2.1g
- Carbohydrate: 23g
- Fiber: 2g
- Sodium: 1060mg
- Cholesterol: 163mg
- 2 stalks fresh lemongrass, ends trimmed and coarse leaves discarded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 3 fully cooked Dungeness crabs (about 2 lbs. each), cleaned, legs cracked, and bodies quartered
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro sprigs
- 1 cup loosely packed Thai basil leaves or small regular basil leaves
- 1. Chop lemongrass. Put in a food processor with ginger and garlic; whirl until minced. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in honey, soy sauce, and pepper. Add crabs and stir to coat well. Cover, then chill at least 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- 2. Pour oil into a 14-in. wok or a wide 8- to 10-qt. pot over medium-high heat. With a slotted spoon, add crabs (reserve marinade). Cover and cook, stirring often, 5 minutes (omit this cooking time if using fully cooked crabs).
- 3. Uncover pan, add marinade, and cook, stirring often, until crabs are steaming and meat is opaque, about 5 minutes.
- 4. Stir in cilantro and basil, then transfer crabs and juices to a serving bowl.
- Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
Also featured in: Sunset, December 2008
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