Dry Fried Schezwan and Coriander Mud Crab with Aromatic Chinese Brocolli

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So here is the dish that I will forever be proud of.

Living in the Northern Territory I am blessed that I can forage for my own Mud Crabs for this dish. But when time gets away from me I will buy the “muddies” from my local seafood supplier. Try this dish on a special occasion or if you just want to spoil your family and friends.

Dry Fried Schezwan and Coriander Mud Crab with Aromatic Chinese Brocolli

Ingredients

1 Mud Crab

2 Tbsp Schezwan Peppercorns

1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds

1 tsp Sea Salt

1 Cup Rice Flour

300ml of vegetable oil; for frying

1 4cm piece of ginger; julienne

4 cloves of garlic; diced

4 spring onions; sliced on an angle – keeping the white and green separate

2 Tbls vegetable oil

3 stems of Chinese Brocolli; cube the steams and slice the leaf on angle

30ml of Shaox Hsing Wine

Method

  1. Dress the crab ensuring you clean the crab hood for presentation. Crack the legs, claws. Chop the body of the crab into half. This will allow the seasoned flour to penetrate the shell and into the flesh of the crab. Set aside the crab for later.
  2. In a dry frypan heat schezwan peppercorns and coriander seeds until they become aromatic and the natural oils are released. Remove from the hot pan and place into a mortar and pestle (or spice grinder) until a medium to fine powder is achieved. Add the spice mixture to the salt and the rice flour and mix well. Dust the crab that you had prepared earlier with the seasoned flour. Ensuring that you get the flour into where the flesh of the crab is exposed.
  3. Place 300ml of vegetable oil in a wok and bring to a high heat (until the oil starts to shimmer). Quickly fry the ginger, garlic and the white of the spring onions. Remove from the oil and place onto kitchen paper.
  4. In the oil that you had fried the aromatics firstly fry the crab claws. This should take between 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of the claws). Remove them and then fry the body halves – same timing as the claws. Next fry the legs, which should take between 3 – 5 minutes. Lastly fry the hood of the crab until total colour change. Drain well on kitchen paper.
  5. Now for the greens. In rolling salted water quickly blanch the broccoli stems for approx. 3 minutes. Drain and keep to the side.
  6. The final step is to put all the elements together.

In a hot wok put in the 2 Tbls of vegetable oil and bring to a high heat. Add the precooked crab and heat through for 3 minutes; add the aromatics and toss through the crab; add the entire Chinese broccoli and toss; pour around the side of the wok the shoaz hsing wine and toss all together and cook the wine off for 2 minutes.

Place the whole crab into a large serving bowl and serve with the hood of the crab on top with a flourish of the spring onion greens.