If I can pick one seafood I have to live with, I will choose crabs. I love crabs of all kinds. Steamed, stewed, baked, or fried; you name it. I know crabs require some work to enjoy them unless their meat are extracted from their shells. To most people, eating the whole crab is too much of work and it can be discouraging. But if I can get a really good crab stew, I don’t mind getting my hands messy picking out the delicious crab meat out of the shell.
Korean crab stew is a one of kind stew. Seasoned with Korean chili paste, chili powder, and a tiny bit of soybean paste diluted in anchovy stock, this comfort stew offers a full flavor of seafood and warm you up in the cold season.
If you are close to major Korean grocery store, you can buy already cleaned and cut crabs in the frozen section, which makes the cooking so much easier. I added some shrimps to the stew so that I can enjoy both seafoods.
Make the seasoning paste by combining all the ingredients,
and add to the crabs and shrimps in the anchovy broth. All you need to do is to boil and simmer until the seafoods are fully cooked, which only takes a few minutes.
You can add some vegetables, like watercress and/or zucchini. Throw some Asian leek or green onion and fresh chili to jazz up.
You will love the flavor of the broth. With the just right amount of heat, and well balanced taste from the seafoods and the fermented Korean paste, you can empty out a bowl of rice in no time.
You will need to use your finger to hold pieces of crab and suck the broth out of it. Consider it as a fun activity of eating. You will definitely need napkins to serve with this stew. It might get messy but you get good at eating crabs after experiencing this stew. And your tummy will be happy, too.
Korean Crab Stew (kkotgetang)
- 3 blue crabs cleaned and halved
- 1/2 lb shrimp cleaned
- 7 cups water
- 6-7 large dried anchovies heads removed and deveined
- 1 piece dried sea kelp
- 1/4 small Korean radish sliced
- 1 small zucchini sliced
- 1 bunch watercress
- 3 tbsp Korean chili flakes
- 2 tsp Korean chili paste
- 1/2 tbsp Korean soybean paste
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp Korean soy sauce for soup
- 1 tbsp Korean fish sauce
- 1/2 Asian leek or 2 green onion sliced
- dashes black pepper
- In a large soup pot, add dried anchovies, shrimp, water, and radish slices; bring to boil over high heat. Remove the sea keep and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Discard the anchovies but keep the radish in.
- In a small bowl, combine chili flakes, chili paste, soybean paste, soy sauce for soup, fish sauce; mix well. Add the sauce to the anchovy stock.
- Add the seafoods and cook over med-high heat for 3 minutes. Add the watercress and zucchini, and cook another 1-2 minutes until the seafood is fully cooked. Taste and season more with Korean soy sauce for soup if needed.
- Add the leek (or green onion) and pepper; heat through. Serve hot with rice and kimchi.