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Secret Recipe: The Slanted Door's Dungeness Crab With Cellophane Noodles

Photograph by Ed Anderson 

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The famous Dungeness crab with cellophane noodles from Charles Phan’s The Slanted Door is a mash-up of translucent green bean noodles (aka glass noodles) and fat chunks of crab, which provide a sweet mouthful between umami-laden slurps. Find it and many of the beloved creations from the Ferry Building temple in Phan’s forthcoming book, The Slanted Door: Modern Vietnamese Food, due out in October—but remember, you saw it here first.

Dungeness crab with cellophane noodles

Serves 4—6

Ingredients:

3½ ounces cellophane noodles

1 tablespoon canola oil

3½ ounces Dungeness (or blue) crabmeat

¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, white and light green parts only

4 tablespoons chicken stock (see below)

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1½ teaspoons oyster sauce

¼ teaspoon ground 
black pepper

Cilantro, for garnish

1. Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain and let sit for about an hour, or until the noodles feel dry to the touch but are still flexible.

2. Place a wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Add the oil and continue heating until the oil is shimmering.

3. Add the crab and green onions, and briefly sauté, about 1 minute.

4. Add the cellophane noodles and stir.

5. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, and oyster sauce, and continue stirring for another few minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

6. Add the black pepper and stir until well combined.

7. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

Chickenstock

Makes about 5 1/2 quarts

Ingredients: 

1 large yellow onion, unpeeled

3-inch piece fresh ginger

7 pounds bony chicken parts such as back, wings, and necks

1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

1 ½ ounces light brown palm sugar or light brown sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Place the onion and ginger on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 1 hour, until the onion is soft and beginning to ooze.

3. Remove from the oven and let the onion and ginger cool until they can be handled.

4. Peel the onion and cut in half. Slice the unpeeled ginger into ¼-inch-thick coins.

5. While the onion and ginger are roasting, blanch the chicken bones.

6. To ensure the pot is large enough to blanch the bones without boiling over, put the bones in the pot and add water to cover by 1 inch. Remove the bones and bring the water to a boil.

7. When it is at a rolling boil, add the bones, return the water to a boil and boil for 3 minutes.

8. Drain the chicken into a colander and rinse under cold running water.

9. Rinse the pot and return the rinsed chicken to the pot.

10. Add the onion halves, ginger slices, salt, sugar, and 8 quarts fresh water to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface.

11. Lower the heat so the liquid is at a gentle simmer and simmer for 4 hours, skimming as needed to remove any scum that forms on the surface.

12. Remove from the heat and, using a spider or a slotted spoon, remove and discard the large solids.

13. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large container, let sit for a few minutes, then skim most of the fat from the surface (optional).

14. Use immediately, or let cool completely. 

15. The stock can keep refrigerated for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Can’t stop thinking about that restaurant dish you’re dying to recreate? Email your requests to schuyler@7x7.com.

This article was published in 7x7's May 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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