Wednesday, March 14, 2012

that Chinese mitten crab & tofu

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My family, as does many other families, shows love with food. And not just immediate relatives - this counts as extended-extended family. My cousin's grandmother has a tradition of giving everyone in the family containers of the most amazing fresh crab meat when they're in season. Roe and fat and all, with a slight drizzle of rice cooking wine to prevent it from spoiling. It survived its journey from Shanghai to Tokyo to Toronto, and I couldn't wait to have a taste. Much appreciation and love back . . . I will make sure to do the crabs justice!

A Shanghai classic, the most amazing mitten crab meat and tofu. Mitten crab (大闸蟹), is one of the most prized seafoods in Southern Chinese cuisine, especially those from YangCheng Lake. A dish so delicious as to inspire songs and poems . . . as well as poachers and counterfeiters. When that time comes in October, when the annual crab harvest begins, the Shanghainese gift these in boxes, with the crabs tied in pairs. A traditional dish, and one deeply rooted in the taste memories of true Shanghai natives. A little taste of home.

Chinese mitten crab & tofu

Gently pick out the crab meat and orange matter, making sure to leave it in large, intact chunks.

Slice thin strands of ginger and green onion. Cube the tofu; be careful it doesn't break.

Boil off the tofu quickly, and strain, making sure to keep the cubes intact. Quickly fry off the ginger/green onion, and crab meat in oil over a high heat. Remove off heat in a bowl, and clean the pan.

Heat some oil in the clean pan and add the tofu. Season. Add in crab meat along with ginger and green onion. Toss quickly together, but the key is to not break up the tofu. Taste for seasoning.

DF

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