Ah it's King Crab Season. I totally missed out on this last year and I am determined to make sure this doesn't happen again. So we headed to Prince in East Vancouver to take part this season.
We ordered an 12 pounder for our Alaskan King Crab dinner and the staff placed it on our table for the photo op. I didn't dare to try and make it stop moving for a picture.
So with the crab in the kitchen, we decided to order a few more classic dinner dishes. First up was the Peking Duck, done in two ways. Here is the first one just the skin with a bit of fat still attached. The accompanying shrimp chips, cucumber, green onions and hoi sin completed the dish.
Simply take a thin wrapper, add some hoi sin sauce, a sliver of both the cucumber and green onion. Top the pile off with a piece of the Roasted Duck. For added crunch, throw a shrimp chip in there too!
The second dish from the duck was was the rest of the meat from the duck. A Duck & Jicama Stir Fry, served with lots of iceberg lettuce to wrap it all it. There wasn't too much of the deep fried noodles usually populating this dish, but the crunch was supplied by the jicama. xx
And now, the star of the show. The first of three ways to eat Alaskan King Crab, simply Steamed with Minced Garlic. The best part about King Crab (to me) is how the preparation of the crustacean itself makes it really easy to eat. I always dread eating crabs in Chinese restaurants because of the work involved. Here, there is zero effort, you just have to gently coax the meat out of the shell. The minced garlic brings out the sweetness of the crab, and their natural juices ensure a moist tender result.
There was so much crab we actually got two plates of this deliciousness. No complaints here.
Our next version was made out of the body. It's simply Deep-Fried with Rock Salt. But if these aren't the legs, then is this the body? Nope, these are the joints where the legs connect to the body. There is a lot of meat in each of the pieces, but you have to work at it a bit. The deep-frying process fuses the shell and meat together. But the spicy salt is flavourful and encourages you to keep digging for those sweet morsels of crab. I liked how this was a bit more flavourful than the minced garlic, so that these flavours seem to build on the previous dish. Mind you, there is another way to have these joints and the crab is then fried with garlic, scallions and chilli peppers (Typhoon Shelter). That one would leave your lips burning, but it's so worth it!
After the Peking Duck and the first two courses of King Crab, we opted for some more common dishes. The first one is an all-time favourite, the Sweet and Sour Pork. I only tried one piece of pork from this dish, but I really like the peppers. They made sure not to overcook them and it gave the dish a freshness that is often missing, usually due to an excess of the sweet and sour sauce. Another surprise element was the lychees used in the dish, instead of the usual pineapple chunks.
Ah, another favourite, this is their Clay Pot Lamb Stew. Loaded with chungs of bone-in lamb, with lots of bean curd skin and a slew of vegetables, lamb doesn't get much more soothing than this. As it is bubbling away, the lamb softens up even more, the bean curd skin and vegetables soak up the sauce. Fortunately, the mushrooms and water chestnuts maintain their integrity and texture despite being heated throughout. I could eat just this and a bowl of rice and be very happy!
Now, you may wonder what sort of vegetable dish we were going to get. How about some Spicy Green Beans with Minced Pork? These weren't as spicy as I would like, they did have a good heat to them. And there was a healthy dose of pork as well, making this dish much more than just a vegetable dish.
And for the finisher! We went for the three courses with the King Crab and thsi is what the final course was. A fluffy and light King Crab Fried Rice, loaded with fresh vegetables, egg whites and the rest of the crab meat. The presentation was really nice too. We couldn't finish the rice so I asked for it "to-go", they were nice enough to pack the shell for me too! Now, what to do with an empty king crab shell? Ideas welcomed!