Crabs in oyster sauce is a simple yet savory Asian crab dish. Cooking this recipe requires the use of alimango or mud crabs. Mud crabs lives in brackish water, and not the other kind of crab, the blue crabs that we normally use for cooking which is caught in the sea. The color of mud crabs usually sold here in the Philippines is very dark brown and the shell are thick and usually it is still alive and the claws are tied to the body to prevent you from being pinched by it’s big powerful claws. But if mud crabs aren’t available you can use large blue crabs. Want to try other crab recipes? try this Garlic Buttered Crabs recipe.
A Delectable Asian Delight
Crabs in oyster sauce is a mouthwatering Asian delicacy that combines the succulence of crab meat with the rich flavors of oyster sauce. This dish is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a breeze to prepare. Let’s dive into the details of this delicious recipe.
Choosing the Right Crab: Alimango or Mud Crab
The key to crafting a perfect Crabs in Oyster Sauce dish lies in selecting the right type of crab. While blue crabs are commonly used in many recipes, this particular dish shines when prepared with alimango or mud crabs. These crabs thrive in brackish water, lending a unique flavor and texture to the dish.
Preparing the Crabs
Before you embark on your culinary journey, it’s essential to prepare the crabs properly:
Cleaning the Crabs: Start by washing the mud crabs under running water. Using a toothbrush, pay special attention to cleaning the shells, especially the abdomen, claws, and feet.
Cutting and Dividing: Once cleaned, chop each crab into four equally sized pieces. This step ensures that the flavors penetrate the crab meat evenly during cooking.
The Cooking Process
Now that your crabs are prepped and ready, let’s dive into the cooking process:
Heating Sesame Oil: Begin by heating a generous amount of sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. The fragrant aroma of sesame oil sets the stage for the mouthwatering flavors that will follow.
Sauteing Garlic and Ginger: Add minced garlic and ginger to the hot oil. Saute them until they release their delightful aroma, usually within a minute. These aromatic ingredients lay the foundation for the dish’s savory base.
Adding Oyster Sauce: It’s time to introduce the star ingredient – oyster sauce. Pour in the oyster sauce, along with water, a pinch of salt, and a hint of sugar. These elements work in harmony to create a delectable sauce that will coat the crab pieces.
Bringing It to a Boil: Allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil. This is the moment when the flavors meld together, resulting in a tantalizing sauce that will infuse every bite of the crab.
Simmering to Perfection: Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer. The slow simmering process allows the sauce to thicken slightly, enhancing its consistency and flavor.
Incorporating the Crabs and Spring Onion: Add the prepared crab pieces to the pan. Toss them gently in the savory oyster sauce, ensuring that each piece is thoroughly coated. Sprinkle in chopped spring onions to add a hint of freshness and color.
Cover and Simmer: To achieve tender, succulent crab meat, cover the pan and continue to simmer. The cover traps the steam and heat, ensuring that the crabs are cooked to perfection.
Serving Your Crabs in Oyster Sauce
The final step in your culinary adventure is the presentation and serving of your Crabs in Oyster Sauce:
Serve Hot: This dish is best enjoyed piping hot. The aroma that wafts from the plate as you lift the lid is nothing short of irresistible.
Garnish with Fresh Herbs: For a touch of elegance, garnish your Crabs in Oyster Sauce with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves or finely chopped green onions. This adds not only a burst of color but also an extra layer of flavor.
Crabs in oyster sauce is a delightful Asian dish that showcases the natural sweetness of crab meat complemented by the umami-rich oyster sauce. With the right choice of crabs and proper preparation, this dish can become a star attraction on your dining table. Whether you’re a seafood enthusiast or simply looking to impress your guests, this recipe is a surefire way to tickle the taste buds and leave everyone craving for more. Try it out today, and savor the exquisite flavors of Crabs in Oyster Sauce – a culinary journey you won’t soon forget.
How to Cook Crabs in Oyster Sauce
- 1 kilo mud crabs or alimango
- 2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 Tbsp. ginger chopped finely
- 1/4 cup oyster sauce
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. rock salt
- 1 bunch spring onion
How to cook Crabs in Oyster Sauce:
- Prepare and clean the mud crabs by washing it in running water and using a toothbrush, clean the shells specially the abdomen, claws and feet.
- Chop and divide each crab into four pieces. Set aside.
- Heat sesame oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Saute garlic and ginger until fragrant for 1 minute.
- Add in oyster sauce, water, salt and sugar.
- Bring to a boil then simmer until the sauce is slightly thickened.
- Add in the crabs and spring onion and stir cook to coat the crabs with the sauce.
- Cover and simmer until the crabs are cooked. Serve hot.
Cooking Tips of Crabs in Oyster Sauce:1. Choose Fresh and Quality Crabs: To ensure a delicious outcome, start with the freshest and highest-quality crabs available. Whether you're using mud crabs or blue crabs, look for ones that are lively, with intact shells and a clean, ocean-fresh scent. Fresh crabs will have firm, white meat and a sweet, briny flavor, enhancing the overall taste of your dish. 2. Properly Clean and Prepare the Crabs: Cleaning and preparing the crabs correctly is crucial for both flavor and safety. Rinse the crabs thoroughly under running water to remove any sand or debris. Use a brush or a toothbrush to clean the shells, claws, and feet. When cutting the crabs into pieces, make sure to use a sharp knife to minimize the effort and ensure clean cuts. Proper preparation ensures that the flavors penetrate evenly and that the final dish is both safe and delicious. 3. Monitor Simmering Time Carefully: Achieving perfectly cooked crab meat is a matter of timing. When simmering the crabs in the oyster sauce, be vigilant about the cooking time. Overcooking can make the meat tough and dry, while undercooking can result in raw or unpleasantly textured crab. Keep the pan covered, and check the crabs regularly for doneness. They are ready when the meat turns opaque and easily flakes with a fork. The simmering process usually takes around 15-20 minutes, but this may vary depending on the size of the crab pieces and the heat level. Adjust accordingly to achieve the desired consistency and tenderness.