Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab

Gorgeous Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab is so easy and what a show stopper! I encountered this amazing dish first at Flying Fish in Seattle and then again when my husband and I were on vacation in Las Vegas at The Grand Wok and Sushi Bar.

Grilled Chicken Roasted Sweet Potato Caesar Salad

Since we live in the Northwest where I knew I could get some great Dungeness I decided it was time to give this a try when we got home. So this is how it went.

First I bought a whole cooked dungeness crab, next time I will buy two! This is so good!

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab with Shrimp

I took off the back of the crab and removed all the gills, crab butter etc and rinsed well. Then I decided to add one pound of large shrimp that were raw with the shells on, heads off and deveined.

Next I added about 1/3 cup of potato starch to a large Ziploc bag and tossed the shrimp inside to coat them well. Leaving the shells on helps the shrimp to retain moisture through the cooking process and helps keep the finger licking seasonings on the shrimp.

Now it was time for the fryer! My fryer was heated to 375 degrees and the shrimp took about 2 or 3 minutes. I turned them out onto a ceramic serving dish while I fried the Dungeness in the same way as I heated up the wok and added the spices.

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab with Shrimp

If you don't have a deep fryer you can use a large dutch oven or deep skillet by adding about 3 cups of oil. Bring it to temp if you have a thermometer or test by adding a cube of bread to see if it fry's up nicely. Use a large slotted spoon to scoop the shrimp and crab parts out of the oil and onto your serving dish.

Here you can see I started roasting some asparagus in a cast iron skillet for a side dish. I snapped the ends to get rid of any woodiness then rinsed and put them into a very lightly oiled skillet on medium heat. I just roll them around a few times while they begin to brown slightly and soften until they are done to the texture I like. I don't add any salt or seasonings most of the time but I do like to use a little bit of a nice finishing salt at the table. I have some smoked Himalayan salt that I smoked last fall that I'm using right now.

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab with Shrimp

Now it was time for the wok. You could use a deep skillet for this as well. I added 3 tablespoons of grape seed oil and started heating up my wok just before I put the shrimp in the fryer. I added the salt & pepper seasoning mix and one minced Serrano chili pepper.

When the oil was shimmering on the surface I added the deep fried crab directly from the fryer and tossed in some chopped scallions. Stirring quickly with my slotted spoon I coated the crab with the spices thoroughly.

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab with Shrimp

Then I added the shrimp to the wok with the crab and tossed it around a bit more before pouring the whole wok back into the serving dish along with as much of the tasty seasoned oil as possible.

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab with Shrimp

And there you have it, break out the napkins and crab cracking equipment! It's time to get busy!

Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab with Shrimp




Szechuan Salt & Pepper Dungeness Crab


for frying

one whole cooked dungeness crab, cleaned and quartered with legs separated

one pound raw deveined shell on shrimp

1/3 cup potato starch ( or rice flour or all purpose flour)

for stir-fry

3 tablespoons oil for frying

1 tablespoon each :

Szechuan Peppercorns ground in a spice grinder

Black Pepper ground

Himalayan or sea salt finely ground

1 minced Serrano chili

2 chopped scallions


Heat the fryer to 375 degrees

Toss prepared shrimp with potato starch in a large ziplock bag.

Start heating the wok, add the spices and the serrano chili to the oil.

Deep fry shrimp 2-3 minutes until golden brown, remove to serving dish.

Toss Dungeness Crab with potato starch in the same ziplock bag.

Deep fry about 5 minutes until golden brown.

Add the fried crab to the now hot wok and add the scallions. Stir-fry 1 minute.

Add the fried shrimp and stir-fry again for about 2 minutes.

Pour entire contents of wok back into serving dish along with any remaining oil and spices.

Serve immediately with more freshly ground pepper, melted butter if you like and a great loaf of sourdough bread!