The Dungeness crab fishing season is now underway, and initial reports indicate very good success in most parts of Puget Sound and Hood Canal.
The most basic way to prepare crab is steaming or boiling them with some cocktail sauce and lemon, which is commonly referred to as the “cook and schuck way.”
Here is another way to wow your dinner guests at the next meal, with a little help from renowned Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas.
Douglas is contributing some of his recipes for the Reel Time Fishing blog. Each will be related to the Catch of the Week, which will appear regularly Wednesdays through October, along with recipes from other local chefs, and owners of tackle shops and fish markets.
Douglas is owner of Lola, Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, Dahlia Bakery, Etta’s, Serious Pie Downtown, Seatown, Brave Horse Tavern, Cuoco, Serious Biscuit, Serious Pie Westlake and Ting Momo.
Hot and Sour Soup with Crab
From Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen Cookbook
4 ounces fresh crabmeat, picked over for bits of shell (about one cup)
1 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons peeled and finely julienne ginger
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Chinese chili-garlic paste
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup canned slivered bamboo shoots, drained
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt as needed
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup green onions, cut on the bias into thin strips or julienne
(Note: The julienne ginger must be super fine so it is easy and pleasant to eat. We slice the ginger almost paper thin on a slicer, then stack the slices and julienne them finely with a sharp knife.)
Place the dried mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soak 30 minutes. Drain and cut into thin slices. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat the chicken stock. Add the ginger, garlic, chili-garlic paste, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, shiitake mushrooms, and bamboo shoots. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the lime juice and sugar and season to taste with salt.
Make a cornstarch slurry by mixing together the cornstarch and water. Add the slurry to the soup and simmer for a few minutes until the soup thickens. Bring the soup to a boil and slowly pour in the beaten egg, stirring gently a few times with a spoon or with chopsticks. Don’t whisk or stir too vigorously — we like nice long shreds of eggs. The egg will cook almost instantly. Remove soup from the heat.
To serve, ladle the soup into four bowls. Top each bowl with an ounce of crabmeat and garnish with the julienne green onions.
(Photo by Greg Gilbert, Seattle Times staff photographer)