steamed blue crabs with black ginger dipping sauce

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Servs: 6   Prep:

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  • add   1/2 cup fresh cilantro stems, coarsely chopped<br> 36 live blue crabs (1/4 to 1/3 lb each; 3 dozen), well rinsed<br> 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger<br> 1/2 cup fermented fine-quality soy sauce<br> 1/4 cup sugar<br> 1/4

Instructions

  1. Bring 1 1/2 inches water to a boil in pot. Add cilantro stems, then carefully add half of crabs using tongs and return to a boil. Cook, covered with lid, 8 minutes (for 1/4-pound crabs) to 10 minutes (for 1/3-pound crabs) from time they enter water. (Break shell of 1 claw to check for doneness; crabmeat should be opaque.) Transfer crabs with long-handled tongs to a large platter, reserving cooking liquid in pot, and keep warm, loosely covered with foil. Cook remaining crabs in same manner.
  2. While crabs cook, stir together ginger (to taste), soy sauce, sugar, water, vinegar, and salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. If necessary, dip crabs in cooking liquid to remove any external residue, then transfer to another large platter. Serve crabs hot, with dipping sauce.
  4. *We recommend Gold Plum brand, available at Asian markets and Kam Man Food Products (212-571-0330).