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Dungeness Crab with Cellophane Noodles
Sustainable Seafood Recipe
One of the signature dishes of San Francisco's popular restaurant, The Slanted Door, this delicate medley of light cellophane noodles and plump chunks of crab highlights the full flavors of Vietnamese cooking. "It's one of those classic, homey dishes," says Chef Charles Phan. "It's savory and light; one of those dishes that kind of hits the spot."
Native to the Pacific coast, Dungeness crab is available fresh from December to February and again in June. Also known as "market crab," and "San Francisco crab," it has a sweet flavor and succulent texture. Dungeness crab is on the Seafood Watch green "Best Choices" list
- (Serves 2-4 as part of a multi-course meal)
- Dungeness crab is available December-February, and June
- 4 ounce package dried cellophane noodles*
(also called mung bean noodles, mung bean threads, crystal noodles or glass noodles)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup picked Dungeness crabmeat
- 1/4 cup green onion, diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce*
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce*
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3-4 sprigs cilantro leaves for garnish
Note: This is a quick-cooking dish, so have your ingredients ready to go in advance.
Soak the noodles in very hot water for 2-3 minutes then drain.
Heat a wok or large skillet on high heat.
Add the oil and heat until it begins to smoke.
Add the garlic and crab. Cook for about 30 seconds, tossing and stirring to mix the ingredients together.
Add the noodles and stir to mix all the ingredients.
Continue to toss and stir, adding the fish sauce and oyster sauce.
Add the sesame oil and green onion and combine well with the other ingredients.
Garnish with cilantro if desired and serve immediately.
* Cellophane noodles, fish sauce and oyster sauce can be found in many supermarkets as well as in Asian markets.
Hints from the Chef
- Make sure the wok gets very hot so the food cooks quickly.
- Don't put too much food in the wok at one time. If you overcrowd the wok you'll get too much steam and your food will be soggy.
- If you've got a lot of food to cook (or a small wok), don't put everything in at once. Cook in small batches.
- Don't over-soak the noodles or they will break into pieces when you add them to the stir fry.
Charles Phan, Executive Chef/Owner of The Slanted Door, Out the Door, Academy Café/Moss Room and Heaven’s Dog, San Francisco, CA
Dungeness Crabs from the U.S. and Canada
The Dungeness crab fishery is well-managed. It only takes male crabs, it's closed during the molting season and it has strict limits on minimum size. This comprehensive management approach protects and sustains future populations.
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