Chili Crabs


2-3 whole cooked crabs
1/4 cup tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons hot chili paste
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons regular soy sauce
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
3 tablespoons peanut oil
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chile, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish


- Pull the main shell off the crab and discard it. Remove the gray gills and the soft insides. Cut the body in half and then cut between each leg.

- In a bowl mix the ketchup, chili paste, oyster sauce, soy sauce, and tamarind paste; thin it with 1/4 cup water and set aside. Pour the oil into a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the scallion, ginger, garlic, 1/2 the chile, and cilantro and cook for 1 minute. Add the crab and stir-fry for another minute. Pour in the sauce and continue cooking, stirring often, until the crab has absorbed the sauce and the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.

- Put onto a platter and garnish with the rest of the chile and cilantro. Serve with plenty of napkins!


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