Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 20 min
4-5 live blue crabs
2 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
5 cups water
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 medium onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves
4 ginger slices
1 piece dried kelp
1 small apple/ asian pear, sliced
1 lemon, cut into thin slices
3 small, dried whole red chili peppers
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
Put the live crab in a container and place it in the freezer for about 1-2 hours. **Note: if you don't want to handle live crabs, as your fishmonger to clean it for you.
While the crabs are in the freezer, prepare your marinate. Add all of the brine ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil for 20 minutes at medium-high heat. Take the kelp out at around 8-10 minutes. After that, let the brine cool completely. Strain the brine and discard all of the cooking ingredients.
Take out the container and thoroughly wash your crab under cold running water. Use a toothbrush or dish brush to get any gunk or debris off of the crab. Split the shell with your hands, cleaning the inside. Cut the eyes, antennas and gills. Turn the crab over and remove the small flap in the underbelly (you can also leave the crab whole and break it right before serving). Gently rinse the crabs making sure not to wash away the "mustard" or any of the other insides.
Once done, place the crabs in an airtight container, adding lemon slices, chopped onions, and the brine until the crabs are completely submerged. Place it back into the refrigerator for 2-3 days (the crabs are best eaten around 3-4 days after preparing or else the crab meat will dissolve, and the crab will be too salty).
When serving, if you pre-cut your crab, all you need to do is garnish with chopped green onions, sliced chilies and rice, like the boys did! If you left them to marinate whole, then split them open before serving by cutting down the middle of the underbelly. Enjoy!