Wild Mushroom and Dungeness Crab Stew
Simmer these hyperseasonal shellfish in Seattle chef Eric Rivera’s savory, warming bowl.
Chef Eric Rivera of Seattle’s Addo is known for his bold flavors and irreverent cooking style, as seen in this warming stew of sweet Dungeness crab and earthy mushrooms laced with numbing Szechuan peppercorns, black garlic, and adobo. Rivera uses his own adobo seasoning for the dish. Make your own using his recipe—a mix of salt, turmeric, garlic powder, and MSG, at a ratio of 85 percent salt to five percent of each of the other ingredients—or substitute a good-quality store-bought version.
Some fishmongers will steam and break down your Dungeness crabs for you. If yours does, great! But if you’re up for steaming your own, it’s not that hard: bring an inch of water to a boil in a large pot, insert a steamer basket, add the crab, cover, and cook six minutes per pound. Rinse the crabs well in cool water before processing. (This is a great video on how to break down your crab; just be sure to save any juices and tamale from within the carapace as you go.)
Cracking the crabs’ shells before roasting allows the savory broth to seep in, flavoring the sweet meat. Dungeness crabs are widely available on the West Coast beginning in November or December; the rest of us can look for them at a local fishmonger or Asian market, or order them online from Giovanni’s Fish Market or Pike Place Fish Market.
This dish is best served with a side of seasoned rice or noodles. If using rice, Rivera suggests seasoning the cooked grains with sesame oil, rice vinegar, and more adobo to taste; if noodles are preferred, look for extra-long pappardelle. “None of this needs to be perfect or nice or whatnot,” he says. “It’s no-fuss. It just needs to taste good and make peeps happy.”
Featured in: “Dungeness Crab is the West Coat’s Holiday Treat.”
- 2 tbsp. chile oil, plus more for drizzling
- 10 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps quartered
- 8 king oyster mushrooms, torn vertically into 4 pieces
- ¼ lb. maitake mushrooms, torn into large pieces
- 1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns, plus more for garnish
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- One 1-inch piece fresh ginger (6 oz.), peeled and finely chopped
- 1 small white onion, finely chopped
- 4 scallions, white parts only, finely chopped
- 6 large cloves black garlic, smashed to a paste
- Two 1½–2 lb. Dungeness crabs, steamed, cleaned, bodies quartered, legs cracked, juices reserved
- 1 cup (8 oz.) unsalted browned butter*
- ½ cups black garlic shoyu
- ½ cups black vinegar
- 1 lb. marble potatoes, quartered
- Adobo seasoning, to taste (recipe below)
- 1 sheet nori
- Steamed medium-grain white rice, for serving
- To a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the chile oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the mushrooms and Sichuan peppercorns and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown, 2–4 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms and peppercorns to a bowl and return the Dutch oven to medium heat.
- To the pot, add the vegetable oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the garlic, shallots, ginger, onion, scallions, and black garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, just until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 7 minutes. Add 4 cups of water, the reserved crab juices, brown butter, black garlic shoyu, black vinegar, and potatoes. Season to taste with adobo, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes. Add the crab pieces, stirring to thoroughly coat the shells in the broth, and continue cooking just until heated through, 5–7 minutes more. Return the reserved mushrooms and Sichuan peppercorns to the pot, cook 1 minute more, then remove from the heat.
- Divide the crab, mushrooms, alliums, and potatoes between 4 shallow soup bowls, then drizzle each serving with some of the cooking liquid. Drizzle with additional chile oil, top with adobo seasoning and Sichuan peppercorns to taste. Finally, using a kitchen torch or the open flame of a gas stove, carefully toast the nori until it is very crispy and charred in places. (Basically light it on fire, then blow it out;). Tear and crumble the toasted seaweed over the bowls and serve immediately, with seasoned white rice on the side.
- Plate this up. Add more adobo, peppercorns, chili oil, and the seaweed will go on top as a garnish.
*Browned butter is simply ordinary butter which has been cooked until its water content has evaporated and its milk solids have toasted. The butterfat that remains has an extraordinarily nutty aroma and flavor and can be used in either sweet or savory recipes. Find out how to make it here.