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Crack into Flavour of the Chinese Garlic Crab Recipe

If you're looking for a delicious and flavourful seafood dish, look no further than the Chinese garlic crab recipe. This dish is a classic in Chinese cuisine and is known for its bold flavours of garlic, ginger, and scallions. The dish is typically made with fresh crab, which is lightly dredged in flour and then stir-fried with the fragrant seasonings until it's crispy and golden brown.

A wok sizzles with garlic, ginger, and chili as a whole crab is tossed in. The aroma of soy sauce and rice wine fills the air

To make the perfect Chinese garlic crab, it's important to start with the freshest crab possible. You can select your crab from the seafood section of your local market or fishmonger. Once you've got your crab, it's time to prepare your ingredients. You'll need garlic, ginger, scallions, flour, salt, and pepper. You can also add other seafood ingredients like prawns or mussels to the dish for added flavour and texture.

The cooking process for Chinese garlic crab is relatively simple. Once you've dredged your crab in flour, you'll need to stir-fry it in a wok with the garlic, ginger, and scallions until it's crispy and golden brown. The dish is typically served with steamed rice and a side of steamed vegetables. You can also pair it with a light white wine or a cold beer for a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Key Takeaways

  • Select the freshest crab possible for the best flavour and texture.
  • Prepare your ingredients ahead of time to streamline the cooking process.
  • Pair your Chinese garlic crab with steamed rice and vegetables for a complete meal.

Selecting the Perfect Crab

A chef selects live crabs from a tank, surrounded by garlic, ginger, and other ingredients for a Chinese garlic crab recipe

When it comes to making a delicious Chinese garlic crab recipe, selecting the right crab is essential. Here are some tips to help you choose the perfect crab for your dish.

Live vs Frozen Crab

While frozen crab is convenient and readily available at most supermarkets, live crab is always the best option. Live crab is fresher, has a better texture, and is more flavourful than frozen crab. If possible, visit your local fish market and choose live crab for your recipe.

Dungeness, Blue, and Mud Crabs

Dungeness, blue, and mud crabs are all great options for your Chinese garlic crab recipe. Dungeness crab is the most popular choice, but blue and mud crabs are also delicious. Dungeness crabs are meatier and have a sweeter flavour, while blue and mud crabs are smaller and have a more delicate flavour.

Male vs Female Crab

When selecting your crab, you may also want to consider whether you want a male or female crab. Male crabs tend to have more meat and are easier to clean, while female crabs have a softer texture and a richer flavour. Ultimately, the choice between male and female crab comes down to personal preference.

If you want to add some variety to your recipe, you can also consider using other types of seafood. Shrimp, lobster, and clams are all great options that will complement the flavours of your Chinese garlic crab dish. Just make sure to choose fresh seafood from a reputable source.

By following these tips, you can select the perfect crab for your Chinese garlic crab recipe and create a dish that is sure to impress.

Preparing the Ingredients

A chef chops garlic and ginger, cracks open crab shells, and measures out soy sauce and spices for a Chinese garlic crab recipe

Before you start cooking, you need to prepare the ingredients. Here are the steps you need to follow to prepare the ingredients for Chinese garlic crab recipe.

Cleaning the Crab

The first step in preparing the crab is to clean it properly. Use a crab cracker to break the shell and remove the gills and stomach. Rinse the crab under running water to remove any dirt or debris. You can also use a knife to peel off the shell if you prefer.

Chopping Vegetables

Next, you need to chop the garlic and scallions. Peel the garlic and chop it into small pieces. Cut the scallions into small pieces as well. You can also add ginger to the recipe if you like.

Measuring Seasonings

To make the garlic crab recipe, you will need to use a few seasonings. The main seasonings are salt, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil. You can also add fish sauce if you like. Measure out the seasonings according to the recipe.

If you want to add more seafood to the recipe, you can use shrimp or lobster. Simply clean and chop the seafood and add it to the recipe along with the crab.

By following these simple steps, you can prepare the ingredients for Chinese garlic crab recipe. Once you have prepared the ingredients, you can start cooking the crab.

The Cooking Process

Garlic cloves sizzling in a wok, as a crab is added and stir-fried with soy sauce, ginger, and chili

Stir Frying Techniques

When it comes to cooking Chinese garlic crab, stir-frying is the most common method used. This technique involves cooking the crab quickly over high heat in a wok with oil. Stir-frying allows the crab to cook evenly and retain its natural flavour and tenderness.

To stir-fry the crab, you will need to heat up your wok until it's smoking hot. Then, add some oil and swirl it around the wok. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant. Next, add the crab and stir-fry for a few minutes until it's cooked through.

Steaming vs Deep Frying

While stir-frying is the most common method used to cook Chinese garlic crab, you can also steam or deep fry the crab. Steaming is a healthier option as it uses water to cook the crab instead of oil. To steam the crab, you will need to place it in a steamer basket and steam for about 10-15 minutes until it's cooked through.

Deep frying the crab will give it a crispy texture and a golden brown colour. To deep fry the crab, you will need to coat it in a mixture of cornstarch, flour, and white pepper. Then, deep fry the crab in hot oil until it's crispy and golden brown.

When cooking Chinese garlic crab, it's important to use fresh ingredients and quality seafood. You can use different types of seafood such as prawns or lobster to add variety to the recipe. It's also important to use unsalted butter to avoid overpowering the natural flavour of the crab.

The cooking process for Chinese garlic crab is relatively simple and easy to follow. Whether you choose to stir-fry, steam, or deep fry the crab, the key is to cook it until it's tender and has a delicious aroma.

Serving and Presentation

A platter of Chinese garlic crab, garnished with fresh herbs and lemon wedges, is elegantly presented on a white ceramic dish

Once your Chinese garlic crab recipe is cooked to perfection, it's time to serve it up for your guests. Here are a few tips on how to present your dish:


When it comes to plating your garlic crab, you can either serve it in the crab shell or on a plate. If you decide to serve it in the shell, make sure to clean the shell thoroughly before presenting the dish. You can also use a small spoon to scoop out the meat and place it on a plate.

For a more elegant presentation, you can use a white plate and arrange the crab meat in the center. You can also add a few slices of lemon or lime on the side to enhance the flavour.

Garnishing with Scallions and Herbs

To add some colour and texture to your garlic crab, you can garnish the dish with chopped scallions and herbs. Simply sprinkle some chopped scallions and herbs on top of the crab meat for a pop of colour and flavour.

Seafood lovers can also add some shrimp or prawns to the garlic crab recipe for an extra boost of protein and flavour. Make sure to use fresh seafood and cook it to perfection before adding it to the recipe.

Serving and presenting your Chinese garlic crab recipe can be a fun and creative process. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can impress your guests with a delicious and visually stunning dish.

Pairing Suggestions

A table set with a steaming plate of Chinese garlic crab, surrounded by vibrant red chili peppers, fresh green scallions, and a bowl of fragrant jasmine rice

Now that you have learned how to make Chinese garlic crab, it's time to think about what to serve with it. Here are some pairing suggestions that will make your meal even more enjoyable.


Rice is a perfect accompaniment to garlic crab. It balances the strong flavours of the crab and adds a nice texture to the dish. You can use any type of rice you like, but we recommend jasmine rice or basmati rice.

Garlic Noodles

Garlic noodles are another great option to pair with garlic crab. The garlic in the noodles complements the garlic in the crab, creating a flavourful and satisfying meal. You can find garlic noodles at your local Asian grocery store or make them at home using our recipe.

Beer or Wine

If you're looking for a drink to pair with your garlic crab, beer or wine are great options. A light beer or a crisp white wine will complement the flavours of the crab without overpowering them. If you prefer red wine, we recommend a Pinot Noir or a light-bodied Merlot.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is a great time to enjoy garlic crab. It's a traditional dish that is often served during the celebrations. If you're hosting a Chinese New Year party, garlic crab is a must-have dish.

Video Directions

If you're new to cooking, watching a video tutorial can be helpful. There are many videos available online that will walk you through the process of making garlic crab step-by-step. Check out our recommended video tutorial for making garlic crab.


  • Use fresh crab for the best flavour.
  • Be careful when handling the crab as it can be dangerous.
  • Use a wok or a large frying pan to cook the crab.
  • Serve the garlic crab hot with your chosen accompaniments.

Remember, you can also experiment with other seafood options to create a unique and delicious meal. Shrimp, lobster, or prawns can be used as a substitute for crab. Just make sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions

A chef stir-fries crab with garlic and Chinese spices in a sizzling wok. Steam rises and the aroma fills the air

What's the simplest way to prepare a Chinese garlic crab at home?

The simplest way to prepare a Chinese garlic crab is to clean the crab, divide it into two halves, and chop the garlic head with a knife and peel it. Then cut into diced garlic. Add oil to the wok, then pour the diced garlic into the wok and stir fry until golden brown. Then pour all the crabs into the wok, add the right amount of salt and soy sauce. Cook it for about 10-15 minutes, and your Chinese garlic crab is ready to serve.

Which ingredients are essential for creating the best Chinese garlic crab dish?

Essential ingredients for Chinese garlic crab include garlic, salt, soy sauce, and crab. You can also use ginger, scallions, and Shaoxing wine to add more flavour to the dish.

Can you suggest a method for cooking crab in a wok, Chinese style?

To cook crab in a wok, heat the wok until it's hot, then add oil and wait until it's hot. Add crab to the wok and stir-fry it for a few minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions and stir-fry for another minute. Then add Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir-fry for a few more minutes until the crab is cooked through.

How does one properly enjoy eating Chinese fried crab?

To properly enjoy eating Chinese fried crab, use a crab cracker or a pair of scissors to crack the shells and remove the meat. Dip the meat in soy sauce or vinegar before eating.

What's the secret to making a delicious Chinese ginger and scallion crab?

The secret to making a delicious Chinese ginger and scallion crab is to use fresh ginger and scallions. Cut the ginger and scallions into small pieces and stir-fry them in oil until fragrant. Add the crab and stir-fry until it's cooked through.

What are some tips for stir-frying crab in a traditional Chinese manner?

When stir-frying crab in a traditional Chinese manner, it's important to use a wok and high heat. Cut the crab into small pieces so that it cooks evenly. Add garlic, ginger, and scallions to add more flavour to the dish. Use soy sauce and Shaoxing wine to season the dish. Finally, add some cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

We suggest using fresh crab for this recipe. However, if fresh crab is not available, you can use frozen or canned crab meat. Other seafood such as prawns or scallops can also be used to add more variety to the dish.