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Sichuan Mala Crawfish (麻辣小龙虾)
Sichuan Mala Crawfish (麻辣小龙虾) pictures (1 of 8)

(Chinese recipes, prepare authentic Chinese food now!)

I have never cooked crawfish at home. I have to confess that these little feisty and fierce some creatures almost had me surrender and call for rescue. Handling these crawdads and crawmoms ain’t no piece of cake. I totally underestimated them. However, at the first bite of their juicy tails and heads, I felt all my hardwork and efforts were completely justified. Put simply, they were simply irresistible!

During my last trip to Beijing, I tried–for the very first time–the famed Ma La Xiao Long Xia/麻辣小龙虾 or Sichuan numbing (named so because of the tingly numbing effect of Sichuan peppercorns) and spicy crawfish. Known locally as small lobsters, crawfish is a must-have during summer months. Commonly enjoyed with beer, crawfish is Chinese people’s (especially Beijingers) guilty pleasure. Guilty because there are numerous health warnings to avoid this delicacy, mostly due to the highly-polluted habitat that these creatures are harvested. But never mind the mercury and toxic, once you have the first taste, there is no turning back. They are highly addictive and toooooooo good…

So, when I drove past highway 22 and saw a sign with the words “LIVE CRAWFISH FOR SALE,” I went immediately insane. I just had to have crawfish. I needed my fix. I followed the sign and found a gem–a seafood store that offers everything I love, much fresher–and cheaper–than any regular Asian food stores.

Artist Crawfish Co.
10302 Trask Ave
Suite D
Garden Grove
CA 92843
Phone : 714-539-9265

And yes, the crawfish are indeed live and kicking! Click the image above to see my complete photo set and here to read my Sichuan wok-fried chicken post.

Note: Crawfish season starts in October, and that’s when you can get some jumbo size big fat ones.

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Recipe: Sichuan Ma La Crawfish/Crayfish/Crawdad (麻辣小龙虾)

Ingredients:

2 lbs crawfish
10 cloves garlic (peel the skin and lightly pounded)
5 sprigs cilantro
5 slices fresh ginger
2 tablespoon soy sauce
10-15 dried red chilies (depends how spicy you want)
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon chicken boullion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

Method:

Soak the live crawfish in cold water with some salt for half an hour. Rinse them a few times with cold running water until they are thoroughly clean. Heat up a wok with the cooking oil. Add in garlic cloves, ginger, dried chilies, Sichuan peppercorns until spicy and aromatic. Toss in the crawfish and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes. Add in all the seasonings, water, cilantro and cover the wok for 5 minutes. Dish out and serve hot.

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