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Chinese Recipes
Crayfish / Crawfish or Seurng Mor
Seurng Mor are a common shellfish found near the southeast coast of China, and they are also grown commercially in pools. I do not know if these are crayfish or crawfish, as they have no discernable claws - unless I only ever see the female versions?

They are a freshwater shellfish similar in many ways to prawns as regards cooking and size. They average 4 inches in length, but larger and smaller versions exist - probably related to when they are harvested.
You should always buy these fresh from large tanks in either supermarkets or wet markets, and refuse any that are already dead.

The ones pictured were bought in October 2010 and measured up to 5 inches long. I managed to take this picture just before my wife cooked them.

When cooking, treat exactly like you would prawns of the same size. My wife usually boils them whole, or sometimes steams them in a wok with spacer. Cooking time is around 4 minutes when boiled.
Image: Seurng Mor or Crayfish - Click to Enlarge
I really do like shellfish, but I am not really taken with these things. They have very little flavour, and what there is tastes a bit 'grungey' for want of a better description.

My real problem however is finding any meat! What there is is underneath a hard body shell that is very difficult to break into, and whilst this does eventually peel away like a prawns, it is a lot of work. Once inside there is a ribbon of tasteless meat, and that's all. My wife chomps the heads off them and then chews the body. Whilst I don't now mind doing this with prawns, I really don't see the point of it all here.

Chinese Recipe 1

The normal way to cook these is to wash them under water and stir fry for several minutes, tossing fairly often. You can cook them in water or steam them, or put into hot oil. The oil could have either or both a clove of garlic and a little freshly diced ginger, but the taste is perhaps better without. Cook until they begin to turn pink and immediately remove from the heat, plate, and serve. A small condiment bowl of soy sauce is usually provided at table for dipping as you like.

Chinese Recipe 2

I have seen these presented by shellfish restaurants in 'curls'. By this I mean the chef strips out the uncooked meat from the back and sets it aside to marinade. I have tasted this when marinated with Fish Oil Sauce (The stuff in bottles).

To a hot wok add a little: oil, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 1-minute before throwing in the meat and half-inch cubes of fresh tofu. Flash-fry for another minute. The meat should curl and turn pink in this time. Add a little water, some chicken bouillon powder, and several inches of tomatoe puree. Complete with fresh chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Serve when the tofu is crispy golden brown by adding contents to a serving dish, and drizzle the gravy over the top.

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