Crab season has arrived as scheduled, and the catch is quite meaty this year. For some, having crab for Christmas is a wholesome tradition. For me, I can't picture myself picking stray crab meat out of my Christmas table decorations after I spend so much time setting them up nicely, ha ha! However, I don't mind having a few dishes made with fresh crab meat for the holidays, such as the ever popular crab cheese puffs, crab dip or Korean crispy crab pancakes. One of my favorite crab dishes is fresh crab lo mein with a ginger, garlic and scallion sauce. If you are really busy cooking over the holidays, you could buy picked crab meat for this dish. I like to experience the whole drama, from going to the dock and chatting with the fishermen to picking out the biggest crabs for steaming, to finally cleaning and picking the crabs. For this holiday, l wanted to feast on lo mein with crab. "Lo" in Chinese cooking terms means to toss and "mein" means noodles. There are some similarities to seafood pasta, but this sauce is made with a flavorful mix of staple Chinese ingredients. The taste is so refreshing and satisfying. You can serve it as a main or a side dish, and it will still be a fancy showstopper. Wishing you all happy feasting for the end of the year!
Crab Lo Mein
Serves 3 to 4.
1 pound fresh won ton noodles or dried Asian-style egg noodles
1 ½ cup freshly picked crab meat (approximately 2 whole cooked crabs)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, thinly sliced then slivered into matchsticks
8 stalks of green onion, finely chopped, saving a few green pieces for garnish
2 handfuls beans sprouts or leafy green vegetable of your choice (optional)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
Pinch of salt
Cook the noodles according the package instructions. You can throw the vegetables in and cook them with the noodles for the last 2-3 minutes. If using fresh noodles, make sure to rinse them well with cold water after cooking to remove excess starch before setting them aside.
Heat the oil in a large pan or wok until sizzling. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute. Then add the ginger and green onion, and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and salt to make a thin sauce.
Add the noodles and vegetables, using chopsticks to toss and mix the ingredients for 1 minute. Add the crab and toss until it's evenly distributed and coated with sauce. Transfer the noodles to a serving dish and garnish with green onion. Serve immediately.
You can find Home Cooking with Wendy Chan (she/her) classes benefitting local charities on Facebook.