Biting into crabmeat and prawn at the same time produces a rich and luxurious feeling. These crisp and juicy crab claws are as good to look at as they are to eat, so they are bound to be a successful starter for a dinner party. You can prepare in advance up to the end of , and then simply recrisp the claws just before serving.
Recipe courtesy of "Yan-Kit's Classic Chinese Cookbook" by Yan-Kit So, copyright 2006. Used by permission of Dorling Kindersley Limited. All rights reserved.
|1 1/4 pounds (560 grams) fresh or frozen medium raw prawns in the shell, without heads||1 teaspoon salt|
|3 ounces (85 grams) of fatback||1/2 teaspoon sugar|
|4 tablespoons cornstarch||1 teaspoon cornstarch|
|12 medium fresh or frozen cooked and shelled crab claws||1 egg white, lightly beaten|
|peanut or corn oil for deep-frying||1 teaspoon sesame oil|
If frozen prawns and crab claws are used, defrost thoroughly. Shell and devein the prawns. Pat dry with paper towels.
Chop the prawns and fatback by hand or mince coarsely. Put in a bowl.
Add the salt, sugar and cornstarch to the prawns and fatback. Stir vigorously for about 1 minute, or until the mixture becomes sticky. Add the egg white and stir again for about 1 minute, or until the paste is firm and elastic. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Blend in the sesame oil.
Put the 4 tablespoons of cornstarch in a bowl. Holding the pincers of one crab claw, dip the meaty part in the cornstarch: shake off any excess. Repeat with the rest of the claws.
Divide the paste into 12 portions. Lightly oil a plate. Holding the claw by the pincers, press a portion of the paste on the meat, covering a small area of the shell to seal it. Place on the lightly oiled plate. Repeat with the rest of the claws. To prevent your fingers from getting too sticky, wet them with cold water.
Half fill a wok or deep fryer with oil. Heat to a temperature of 350°F (180°C), or until a cube of stale bread browns in 60 seconds. Carefully lower 6 claws into the oil, 1 at a time. Deep-fry for about 4 minutes, or until golden, turning each one occasionally. Remove each claw with a perforated spoon or tongs and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining 6 claws.
Deep-fry all 12 claws together for a few seconds to crisp. Remove and drain. Serve the claws immediately. Pass the dips in separate saucers.
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