Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blue Crab Part II

Wine always follows cuisine. Always. Old World wines are a certain way because they pair with the local cuisine. It's only in the New World that we have these vulgar sipping wines.

Roquefort with Sauternes. Duck with Burgundy. Oysters with Sancerre. So many fantastic, classic, wine pairings. But they're all French. I love French food and definitely love French wine, but what about Chinese cuisine?

Chinese cuisine has only one true classic food and wine pairing that I know of. And that is crab with Shaoxing wine, a rice wine that I absolutely love. The sweetness of the wine pairs beautifully with the sweetness and subtle flavours of the crab. Of course, the pairing calls for much better crabs, but what can you do...this is, after all, Canada.

I love drinking this wine warm. You decant, then place the entire vessel in a pot of warm water. Indirect heat - you never heat it too high, because the flavours disappear and it becomes bitter and tart. I love this set...instead of cups, there`s bowls to drink out of. Classic.

Don't mess around with perfection. Steam the crabs, with a dipping sauce of rice vinegar, minced ginger and sugar. Don't make it all pansy...simplicity is the key.

In true Chinaman style. I love this dish. Steamed crabs with Shaoxing wine, absolutely delicious.


  1. Oh man, those were good times. Desperate, but good.