Recipe courtesy of Patrick Lin, Hemispheres Restaurant and Bistro, Metropolitan Hotel Toronto.
Deep-Fried Soft-Shelled Crab w
Spicy Black Bean Vinaigrette
With kitchen scissors, cut off the eyes and a tiny amount of the surrounding shell from each crab.
With the crab on its back, lift up and cut off the triangle apron.
Next, turn crab on its stomach. Lift up the soft shell-flap at each end to expose the white finger like gills. Remove gills by hand.
To deep-fry the crabs, heat a large non-stick pan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Heat to 300 degrees F.
Coat the crabs in the cornstarch.
Add the crabs, shell down, to the hot oil.
Immediately reduce the heat to medium.
Fry until undersides are golden red-brown. Turn crabs and continue frying 3 to 4 minutes until cooked through.
Drain on paper towel. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Heat a stainless pan over high heat. Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil and heat until it starts to bubble.
Add shallots, garlic and ginger to the oil and cook until golden. Remove the shallot mixture and set aside.
Empty the oil to another container leaving just a bit in the pan.
Return the shallot mixture to the pan and add the ham, black beans, chile and scallion. Fry until scallions soften slightly. Remove this mixture to a bowl.
Add lemon zest.
Add vinegar and olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Finally, add the coriander, diced tomatoes and tangerine peel. Season to taste.
Place each crab on a heated plate. Spoon about 2 tablespoons dressing over the top and garnish with dill sprigs and pea shoots.