Recipe: How to Cook Authentic Qianjiang Braised Crayfish
Braised crayfish, garlic crayfish, steamed crayfish, soy sauce stewed crayfish … how many different ways can you have your crayfish? According to the book 100 Types of Qianjiang Crayfish, there are at least one hundred.
Every year in many places, all across the nation, the crayfish craze begins in March and lasts until October. Imagine, under the scorching summer sun, with a bunch of friends and few bottles of beer, without a plate packed to the brim of hot and spicy crayfish, wouldn’t it be such a shame?
For this article, our correspondent specially went to inquire veteran head chefs at Qingjiang Crayfish College on how to make authentic braised crayfish.
Main ingredient: Crayfish 1kg.
Ingredients for mixing: oil, salt, sauces, vinegar, cooking-wine, sugar, ginger, garlic, garlic bulb, paprika, Sichuan pepper, star anise, fennel, beer.
第一刀 虾头斜角 45°剪虾头
上桌前撒葱花15克，芝麻油20克。 Step One: Prepare materials and clean crayfish.
1. Place your crayfish in clean water to rinse. Scrub each crayfish clean with a brush, place the crayfish in clean water again and allow it to continue to rinse until they are all thoroughly clean.
2. Seven-step crayfish cutting method
First cut: Use your scissors to make a cut at a forty-five degree angle to the head of the crayfish.
Second cut: Open the head and take out the organs.
Third cut: Cut off the four claws on the left side.
Fourth cut: Cut off the four claws on the right side.
Fifth cut: Devein the crayfish.
Sixth and seventh cut: Make a cut in the tail-side of the crayfish to let it absorb more flavor while cooking (while making it easier to crackopen when eating).
Step Two: Cook
Take your already prepared crayfish and put them into a pan with oil that has already heated to about 300°f (150°c), fry till shining red, after you have cooked them to about medium-well, get a spoon strainer, take them out and drip-off any excess oil.
Take a new pot and reheat the left over oil adding some sugar and cook till yellow. Then add your paprika, Sichuanese pepper, onions, ginger, and bulb of garlic and fry till aromatic.
Next put in your medium-well crayfish with a little Baijiu, a bottle of beer, vegetable oil, sticky chili bean sauce, sweet soybean sauce (made from fermented flour) and mix in.
Afterwards add your salt, chicken essence and bone broth for tasting. Lastly, put on a lid and seal it up nice and tight to braise for twelve to fifteen minuets.
Start with a slow low heat to braise the crayfish and then when it’s almost done turn up the heat to reduce the broth. Take the pot off the heat and plate.
Before serving, sprinkle 15 grams of chopped spring onions and 20 grams of sesame seed oil over the crayfish.