Ordered some crabs from www.ahhuakelong.com over the weekend and decided to bake them in salt.
The crabs were delivered alive and the young man even helped to keep the crabs alive in my sink with some salted water.
We usually put the crabs in a 1-pot-wonder but this time round, I thought I'd bake them in salt.
Coarse sea salt - enough to line the pane and cover the crabs (I used 2kg worth)
Chinese wine (I used Hua Diao. Try to avoid those labelled as "kitchen use"橱用as they often come with added salt)
Ginger slices (optional)
Crabs - best to use live ones. Wash them in clean water to make sure you clean off any dirt on the shells
In order not to shock the crabs (and have their legs fall off when baking), I make them drunk. Line them in a container and pour in enough wine to submerge them to just beyond their mouths so the wine can go into their system. You can also put a few slices of ginger at the bottom of the container. Leave the crabs to get drunk for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220 deg C. Line the baking tray with a thin layer of salt. When the crabs are ready, remove them one at a time from the wine and line them on the salt layer in the baking tray. Cover the crabs completely with the remainder of the salt and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes depending on the size of your crabs.
Once done, gently scrape away the salt and remove the crabs from the salt pile and they are ready to be served!
Note: the crabs are baked whole and you can peel away the lungs and all the inedible parts when you open up the top and bottom shells. I would also ensure that the salt used is of very large crystals so they won't fall into the cavities of the crabs and make the crabs too salty. It also makes removing them from the crabs easier too.
PS: You can use the wine to dunk live prawns, if you are eating them on the same day :) I've also forgotten that I could actually bake eggs (quail eggs, shell and all) in the salt at the same time!