1Clean and wash soft shell crab under water. Remove the eyes and gills. Cut into 4 pieces and keep cool in chiller until ready to use.
2TEMPURA BATTER Blend all the dry ingredients. Put into a large steel bowl. Mix in ice water to create a batter. Keep resulting batter cool.
3Dip each section of crab into the batter – ensure pieces are well-coated.
4Heat oil to 175 C. Or drop a little batter in, it should turn golden and rise to the surface. Carefully place one or two crab sections into the hot oil and cook until golden brown (about 2 mins). Remove with a slotted spoon or a flat strainer and drain on clean paper towel.
5SAUCE Using a wok or saute pan on medium high heat, stir-fry minced garlic, ginger, and shallots.
6Add in cut leeks, chilli padi, green chillies, dried chillies, and Sichuan peppercorns, and continue stir-frying until fragrant.
7Add in spicy dou ban jiang. Stir-fry for 30 secs, then add in tomato ketchup, and water. Bring up to a boil and simmer for roughly 5 mins until the sauce is thick but runny.
8Season with light soy sauce, salt, and sugar to taste.
9Add the chopped spring onion and finish by drizzling the chili oil and sesame oil on top. Leave the oils to seep into the sauce.
10Deep-fry egg white in hot oil until fluffy and carefully remove from oil and drain on clean paper towel.
11To serve, place the sauce on the plate. On top of the plated sauce, stack deep-fried egg white and tempura soft shell crab. Best with mantou or steamed rice.
Chef's Tip: Serve the spicy crab with fried mantou or rice.
Recipe: Eugene See / Photo: Andy Wong/Rave Photography