Spicy Korean Crab Stew! It is one of my Top-3 favorite stews. I forget about this delicious, hearty stew throughout the year, until September rolls around. During Fall, Korean flower crabs* are in season. These flower crabs work well in stews as they have a soft body shell. You can easily crunch through the body with your teeth and suck out the big chunks of crab meat.
In Korea, these flower crabs are also eaten raw – after marinating in a flavored soy sauce! It’s called Gejang. But we’ll touch on that in the future as it is a specialty dish. Also very hard to prepare properly. Today, we will take on the stew version!
*Korean flower crabs are commonly referred to as “blue crabs” – which is a misnomer and leads to alot of confusion. The Korean “blue crab” is similar in appearance to the Chesapeake or Maryland blue crab. However, the Chesapeake blue crab has a hard shell – unlike the soft (biteable) shell of the Korean blue crabs. So I would recommend buying the Korean flower crabs if you have a large Korean mart in your area. If it is not in season, they will usually have cleaned ones in the frozen section. Taste great as well!
Note: Put the crabs in a container with cold water. Then put the container in the freezer for ~1 hour. The ice water will shock them and put them in a transitive state. An easier (and humane) way to send them off!
Spicy Korean Crab Stew
- Korean flower crabs - 3
- Korean radish - 150 grams
- Onion - 1/2 whole
- Spring onion - 10 inch piece of
- Oyster mushrooms - 100 grams
- Cheongyang chili peppers - 1
- Medium Firm Tofu - 1/2 block
- Dashima Kombu - iPhone sized piece of
- Dried Anchovies - 10 dried
- Water - 4 cups
- Doenjang - 2 Tablespoons
- Gochujang - 1 Tablespoon
- Korean red chili flakes - 1 Tablespoon
- Minced garlic - 1 Tablespoon
- Mirin - 2 Tablespoon
Prep live crab
- Place crab in a container with cold water. Then place the container in the freezer for 1 hour.
- Take out the container and thoroughly wash crab under cold running water. Use a old toothbrush to get any gunk and debris off the crab.
- Flip the crab over and lift-up the tail end. Tear that piece off. You will then see a small crevice where you can fit a thumb in. Then use some force and separate the top-shell off the crab. There will be lot of crab juice in the head shell - careful not to tip this over. Pour this crab juice out onto a small dish for later use.
- Then use your knife and cut it down the middle. Then in the top-shell (near the mouth), you will find a sack - rip that out and throw it away. Then use kitchen scissor to cut out the mouth piece.
- Let's move to the crab body. Remove the gills. Then use scissors to cut off any left-over mouth pieces that are attached to the body. (Don't wash off the crub mustard or innards. It will flavor the broth).
- Use scissors to cut off the big claws from the body. Then trim off the pointy ends from the crab legs as well as the back fins. Then cut the body pieces in half.
Make Anchovy Kelp Broth
- Remove black innards from dried anchovies. Put a large pot on a medium-high heat.
- Once it is hot, place in the anchovies and stir-around (without oil) for 10-20 seconds (Give them a light roast).
- Then place water in. Once water comes up to boil. Add dashima pieces. Place timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, take out dashima pieces.
- Then let the rest of broth cook for 10 minutes. Place a kitchen towel or cloth in a large mixing bowl and strain the broth.
- Place broth back into pot
Prep other ingredients
- Cut onion into thin strips. Cut spring onion and chili pepper into thin circles. Cut Korean radish into thin squares.
- Cut the stem off the oyster mushrooms and separate each piece with your hand.
- Cut tofu block in half and into small rectangles.
- Place stock broth on a medium heat. Add in the onion and Korean radish pieces.
- Once soup starts to boil, mix in the doenjang through a sieve.
- Then add-in the gochujang, Korean red chili flakes, minced garlic, crab juice (from Step 2) and mirin into the soup.
- Then add in all of the crab pieces. Place a lid onto the pot and increase the heat to a medium-high heat. Let it boil for 2 minutes.
- Then add-in oyster mushrooms, tofu, green onion and chili pepper into the soup. Reduce the heat back down to a medium and boil for 1 more minute.
- It should be ready to eat. Great job with this recipe - enjoy with some hot sticky white rice!
- When you lift the shell off the crab, don't throw out the leftover juices in the shell. Save that to season the broth
- In the video, I forgot to add in minced garlic. Still tasted great but add 1 Tablespoon for a nice kick!