Soft-Shell Crabs With Ginger and Black Bean Sauce


  • 6 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and ready to cook
  • ½ cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons shredded fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon shredded lemon rind, yellow part only
  • 2 small hot fresh red peppers, trimmed, seeded and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon salted and fermented black beans
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 ½ cups broth such as fish or chicken, fresh or canned
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt to taste if desired
  • Oil for deep frying plus 1/4 cup
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • Fresh coriander sprigs
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (6 servings)

      327 calories; 11 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram dietary fiber; 2 grams sugars; 36 grams protein; 135 milligrams cholesterol; 862 milligrams sodium

    • Note: Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available data.

6 servings


  1. Trim off the outer thin feeler claws of the crabs. Cut the crabs in half crosswise through the center.
  2. Put 1/2 cup of the cornstarch in a dish and dip the cut part of each crab half in it. Shake off excess.
  3. Combine ginger, shredded lemon rind and red pepper. Set aside.
  4. Combine garlic, black beans and wine and set aside. Blend broth with minced lemon peel, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  5. Heat fat for deep frying and when it is almost but not smoking, add half of the crab halves. Cook about three and one-half to five minutes or until red and crisp. Transfer to a sieve and drain. Cook the remaining crab halves. Drain.
  6. Heat remaining one-quarter cup oil in clean skillet or wok. When hot add ginger mixture and cook about 10 minutes. Add black bean mixture and cook, stirring, about 20 seconds. Add broth mixture and bring to a boil.
  7. Blend remaining cornstarch with water and stir it in. When thickened pour sauce over crabs. Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve.

30 minutes

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