Chinese crab rice

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Stephen Ceideburg
2 \N Green onions, chopped
1 \N Piece fresh ginger, 2-3 cm, grated
4 tablespoons Dry sherry
3 tablespoons Light soy sauce
3 \N Blue crabs
400 grams Glutinous rice
1 tablespoon Soy sauce
1 tablespoon Oil
1 teaspoon Sugar

The Chinese have comfort food, too, and this dish qualifies. You will need a large steamer; if you don't yet have one, they can be bought cheaply in large Chinese or Vietnamese food stores where you can also pick up the glutinous rice. The dish takes considerably longer to cook than the previous recipes but little more of the cook's time. By the time the rice is cooked, it is saturated with crab flavour.

Finely chop 2 green (spring) onions and grate 2-3 cms of fresh ginger.

Combine them with 4 tablespoons dry sherry and 3 tablespoons light soy sauce. Prepare three green blue swimmers crabs. Chop two of them into several pieces with a large knife or cleaver and crack the hardest pieces of the shell with a hammer. Crack the third crab thoroughly all over but do not chop up. Pour the sherry-soy sauce mixture over the crabs and leave to marinate for an hour. Wash 400 grams glutinous rice in several changes of water until the water runs clear.

Put the rice into a saucepan and pour over it 1½ L water. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Drain.

In the bottom of a heatproof dish at least 12 cm deep and of a size to fit into your steamer, pack in the chopped crab pieces, reserving the marinade. Pour the rice over the top and pack it down. Press the intact crab into the top of the rice. To the marinade, add a further tablespoon soy sauce and a tablespoon oil, teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Pour over the crabs and rice.

Put the dish in the steamer over boiling water and steam for 35-40 minutes. Serve. Diners deal first with the top crab, now half buried in rice, then fish around, for the rest of the crab pieces in rice.

From an article by Meryl Constance in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5/18/93. Courtesy Mark Herron.

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