Issue 157 | April 2012
Renaissance | Members news | Exhibition Design | Events | Exclusive offer & giveaway
05 Eat art Kylie Kwong's steamed crab with black bean and chilli sauce inspired by Brett Whiteley's Interior with time past

image: Alan Benson


Steamed crab with black bean and chilli sauce

800g – 1kg live crab

Black bean and chilli sauce
½ red capsicum
3 tablespoons peanut oil
7 green shallot stems, cut into 6 cm lengths
4 ginger shards
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 large red chillies, cut into half lengthways and seeds removed
1 small red onion, cut in half then wedges
2 tablespoons salted black beans
3 table spoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1/3 cup chicken stock
2 bird’s eye chillies, sliced
2 teaspoons Chinese black vinegar



Place live crab into freezer for 2 hours, where it will ‘go to sleep’. Cut crab in half lengthways then cut each half into 4 pieces. Place crab in a heatproof bowl that will fit inside your steamer basket. Place bowl inside steamer over boiling water and steam, covered, for 7 minutes or until the crab is cooked – the flesh should be white rather than translucent.

Black bean and chilli sauce
Remove seeds and membranes from the capsicum, cut into strips 1.5cm wide, then cut each strip into squares. Heat peanut oil in a wok and stir fry the shallots, ginger, garlic, halved chillies, onion, black beans and capsicum for 3 minutes or until fragrant. Pour the sherry around the sides of the wok in a circular motion, then stir in the sugar, oyster sauce, sesame oil, stock and sliced bird’s eye chillies. Stir fry for 3 minutes to allow the ingredients to infuse, creating a rich sauce, Finally add the vinegar and remove from heat.

Carefully remove the crab from steamer and toss with the sauce. Serve on a large platter.