Preparation / Directions:
Well here it is, in all its glory. I've included Hom's method for making stock both because it's good and to give more of a feel for the book. Honk Kong is an extremely, almost excessively dynamic city and this is reflected in the food. The book is interesting because he has a finger on the development of the "new" Hong Kong cuisine and notes traditional recipes from which the ones in the book spring.
BTW, Michael--my roommate--and I were talking about this dish last night as we were munching up a plain old steamed Dungeness crab. He said he *really* liked this recipe. I found it too heavy on the black beans and spices. Here it is. You be da judge... ;-} Here is an interesting, innovative technique employed by Hong Kong chefs. The clay pot traditionally is used for the long simmering and braising of foods; nowadays, however it is as often used to infused intense flavors over high heat in a short length of time, as in this recipe. the classic Cantonese dish is given a new twist; the fresh crab is stir-fired with aromatic seasonings and then quickly finished over high heat in the covered clay pot. The pungent black beans permeate the rich crab meat, enhancing it and adding to its subtle flavors. This delicious casserole is quite easy to prepare and turns an ordinary dinner into a special occasion.
If you are using a live crab, prepare it according to the technique on page 77. [Rinse, scrub and steam for ten minutes. S.C.] Cut the body into quarters and lightly crack the claws and legs.
Heat a wok or large skillet until it is hot and add the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry to flavor the oil. Then add the black beans, chilies, and crab. Stir-fry for 2 minutes and add the chicken stock. Turn the contents of the wok into a clay pot or casserole, cover, and cook over high heat for 5 more minutes or until the crab shell turns bright red. Serve immediately.
From "Fragrant Harbor Taste", Ken Hom, 1989 Fireside (Simon and Schuster), New York. ISBN 0-671-75444