Watarigani for Chinese New Year. Little crabs, spicy marinade


That’s food to eat with your fingers so you can lick them after…

Watarigani. Japanese small soft-shell crabs. They are often just boiled in a hot pot, but prepared this way they become even more delicious.

The sauce, the seafood and veggies. The sauce is a personal arrangement of the Taiwanese sachajang (sacha sauce).
Today my marinade contained : mini shrimps in salty brine (ami ebi), garlic, onion, ginger, leek whites, negi leek greens, red chili, Okinawan sake, soy sauce and rice vinegar. I minced and mixed 30 minutes before using.

The crabs are coated with starch, then deep fried.

And covered with the marinade. Turned 2 or 2 times, about 10 minutes. They absorb a good amount of the sauce. Then transfer on the cabbage.

Watarigani crab in sauce sacha (part 2 : on stage)

After the watarigani crab has marinated in the sauce sacha gourmande a few hours, it can be served cooled or, in Winter, slightly reheated.
Preparing crab in sacha sauce


Steam folded bread buns.

Serve the crab on a bed of greens (salad spinach and mitsuba leaves) and top it with its sauce.
Don’t forget the rince-doigts or wet towels for the hands.

A quick side dish : bean sprouts reheated in sweet chili sauce.

Cal 637.2 F23.3g C66.4g P42.0g

Watarigani crab in sauce sacha (part 1 : behind the curtain)

HOME-MADE SACHA SAUCE
沙茶醤, I think it’s said sachajan’. Well there are surely many versions of this sauce popular in Taiwan and created there or stolen from somewhere ages ago. I browsed to see the commercial version and well… it’s very different. I changed a few things from a Taiwanese “home-made” recipe. So it became the sauce sacha gourmande.

+

Chinese style dry shrimps and Chinese liquor (I was given that, I have let it age and found I had that funny bottle… it’s convenient to cook). Serve a drink to the shrimps and let them time to sip it, at least 20 minutes.

Garlic, onion, stalks of mitsuba, chili pepper, ginger…


Chop the rehydrated shrimps. Mix everything. Add soy sauce, mirin, water.

FRIED WATARIGANI CRAB
The watarigani is a small green “crab” quite common between the coasts of Japan and Taiwan. It seems it is not really a crab, but something between crabs and shrimps. The shell is quite soft. It’s not green here ? Yes, I know. It’s the first time I get some of this exact color, but they are not always very green. So there are probably different sub-species…

Cut and clean the edible parts of the crabs. I bought them ready.
Drain well the water. Coat them with corn starch.
Heat oil at 170 degree C. And fry the crab.
I do that in a frying pan with 1/2 cm of oil. I cover, and turn a few times. That takes about 10 minutes.

Pour the sauce on top.

Mix well. Let it cool and marinate at least one hour. I like it after a longer time. And wait for next post…

TO BE CONTINUED :

Watarigani, Part 2