Like most people, I love the sweetness of Dungeness crabs. They are reasonable priced this time of the year. So, if you are into crabs, do try this Chili Crabs recipe. The chili sauce requires a little advance preparation, but, the end result is well worth the effort.
2 (about 4 lbs) Dungeness Crabs, cut into 6 pieces (each crab), reserved Tomalley, if any
25 to 30 g Tamarind Paste, soften with 150 ml of Water, strained, discard seeds
1 Tbsp Sugar
Sea Salt To Taste
4 Tbsp Peanut or any vegetable oil
30 (30 g) Dried Chilies, cut into smaller pieces
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled
8 (130 g) Shallots, peeled, chopped
4 Candlenuts (Buah Keras)
Make Sambal Paste: Soak the dried chili pieces with boiling water until they are soften, about 10 minutes. Drain the soaked chilies with a colander, and make sure to shake off all the seeds. Combine all the ingredients and process until it becomes a fine paste.
In a large wok or saucepan over moderate heat, fry the sambal paste with 4 Tbsp oil until fragrant. Turn the heat on high and mix in the tamarind mixture and bring it to a boil. Toss in the crabs; stir well until the crabs are coated with the sambal. Mix in the tomalley, and season with sugar and salt. Lower the heat, closed with a lid for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the crabs are fully cook and the sambal almost dry. Dish out and serve warm or at room temperature.