Pan Fried Ginger and Green Onion Dungeness crab, 干炒薑蔥蟹

This is a very traditional old style recipe from generations down.  You can find this dish in most of the Oceanside restaurants in the Southern China region.  Although there is a wet version serves with noodle, the one you see here is the dry variety without the sauce.  However I can assure you this is a “finger licking good” recipe.

Since we live in West coast of Canada, it is obvious that we are using Dungeness crab.

Dungeness crab is very common and widespread in sandy areas along the British Columbia (BC) coast from the intertidal to a depth of about 180 metres (600 feet).

The meat has a sweet, mild and slightly nutty taste with tender body meat and slightly firmer leg meat.  If you have a chance to visit the Fisherman Wharf in San Francisco or the Pike Market in Seattle, you can see Dungeness crab almost in every corner.  Although you can find Dungeness crab in the entire Pacific North West, the best one is from British Columbia Tofino area off the west coast of Vancouver Island.  The color of the crab is lighter and taste is extra sweet.  They live off the sandy eel grass bottom and they grow to eight inches across the carapace.  The crab develops strong muscle to fight off strong Pacific current.  This is the reason why the crab is very meaty once they reach maturity.

Important Points:

  1. Always buy live crab.  Dead crab develops an enzyme to destroy the muscle.
  2. Press the leg (not the claw) hard; make sure the shell is rock hard.
  3. Buy at least 2 pounds +, three pounds the best.
Pan Fried Ginger and Green Onion Dungeness crab, 干炒薑蔥蟹


Dungeness crab                         x1 – 3 lbs

Sweet onion                                ½ – julienne

Green onion                                1 bunch – cut into 3 inch length

Garlic                                          2 cloves – dice

Shallot                                         x1 – julienne

Fresh ginger                                5-6 pieces

Light soy sauce                           1 table spoon

Fish sauce                                   1 table spoon

Yellow cooking wine                    2 table spoons

Corn or peanut oil                       4 table spoon


Clean the crab (see pictures below) and cut into pieces.  Heat up the wok with high heat; pour in two table spoons of oil.  When you can see the smoke coming off the rim of the wok, put the onion, garlic, green onion, ginger, and shallot into the wok.  Quickly stir fry it for three to five minutes until everything has soften, pour in cooking wine and stir for another minute.  Take everything out and leave it in a container for later use.  Pour in the rest of the oil to the hot wok and put the crab pieces (except the top), stir fry quickly for three minutes.  At this point position the crab top shell to the bottom of the wok and place the crab pieces on it and put the onion mixture back it.  Cover it and let it cook for four – five minutes.  At this point you should see smoke coming off the rim of the cover.  Take the cover away. Use a tong to take the crab top shell out and set it on a plate.  Quickly stir fry the crab pieces.  Sprinkle the rest of the cooking wine first to the crab and the fish sauce and soy sauce right after.  Stir fry it quickly and let the moisture (liquid) evaporate entirely……………..dinner is ready!

Whole Dungeness crab
Use y0ur thumb to break off the mouth piece, take the stomach out
Carefully take the stomach (two sacks) out without breaking it. Throw it away
Taking the claw out
Taking the claw out
breaking the mouth piece
Cutting the crab to six pieces
Cutting the crab to six pieces
Cracking the shell of the claw, so the essence of the ginger and onion can penetrate inside
Use a meat cleaver to crack the claw
You can see the crack lines of the claw
adding soy sauce and fish sauce to the crab pieces
Adding cooking yellow wine to the crab pieces and quickly stir fry till liquid evaporate (dry)

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Erika says:

    Definitely one of my favourites, from first-hand knowledge…thanks for the delicious meal!

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