Soft Shell Crabs In Black Bean and Chili Sauce

Course : Seafoods
Serves: 4
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1 cup oil for deep frying
4 large soft shell crabs
2 tablespoons oil for stir frying
-----seasonings -- (put in bowl-----
2 tablespoons salted black beans: rinsed -- in hot water, drained into a paste
4 cloves garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon ginger root -- minced fine
2 medium dried red chili peppers -- tear into small -- pieces not discard seeds
1 medium scallion -- cut into pea-sized including the green
1/2 cup green or red bell pepper -- chopped
-----sauce mixture -- (mix in bowl-----
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese Shao Hsing wine or -- pale dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon msg -- (opt.)
2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth -- clear
1 teaspoon cornstarch -- mixed with 2t
1 Cup water

Preparation / Directions:

1. Heat 1 cup oil in Wok to deep-fry temp. Add crabs and deep fry until they turn orange. Drain crabs and discard oil. Clean and dry the Wok. 2. Heat the Wok over high heat. Swirl in 2 T oil. When oil is hot, add seasonings. Stir fry for about 30 seconds. Add bell pepper and stir fry for about 10 seconds. Stir in sauce mixture. Put cooked crabs back into Wok. Cover, turn heat to low, and cook until sauce comes to a boil. Stir in cornstarch and water. Stir and cook until sauce is thickened. Put on a serving plate. Serve hot. NOTE: For a less pungent hot dish, use 1 T salted black beans and 1 dried chili pepper. When you buy soft shell crabs, be sure they are still alive. Usually they look quite dead, weak and limp. Touch their legs, eyes, or mouth. Even if they respond only slightly and slowly, they are still alive. Refrigerate them as soon as you get home. Cleaning them is quite simple. Clip off the eyes and mouth. Lift the top shell and remove the soft feather-like gills and discard them. Turn the crab bottom up. Tear off and discard the cartilage. (the shape of the female's is half-oval, the male's is a narrow triangle

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