Crab in Black Bean Sauce

(Photo by Floccinaucinihilipilification/Flickr)

Serves 2.


1 large mud crab or 2 smaller crabs
1 tablespoon canned salted black beans
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
4 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, halved
4 slices fresh ginger
185 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup hot water
3 teaspoons cornflour
2 tablespoons cold water
2 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
1 egg, slightly beaten


Clean the raw crabs. Chop body of crab into 4 or 6 pieces, leaving legs attached. Separate large claws from body and crack shells to allow sauce to penetrate.

Rinse black beans in cold water, drain and mash. Mix with garlic crushed with sugar, and the soy sauce.

Heat oil in a wok and fry the halved garlic cloves and slices of ginger until they start to brown. Remove from pan. Over high heat fry the pieces of crab, turning them over in the hot oil for 5 minutes or until shells are bright red. Remove crab pieces from pan. Add black bean mixture to the oil, fry for 1 minute, then pour in hot water and crab pieces. Stir well, cover pan and cook for 3 minutes. Mix cornflour with a little cold water and stir into sauce until it boils and thickens. Add spring onions and dribble in the egg until egg sets. Serve at once with steamed white rice.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)