Chinese Food is spectacular due to China's diverse geographical restrictions that forced cooks to creativly overcome the shortcomings of their landscapes. Like many other countries, the limiting factors of China are inseperable from the evolution of it's cuisine; Seafood in Hunan Province was murky tasting, so complex dark sauces developed to overpower it. Cooking oil was scarse throughout the south, so food was either steamed, or cubed and stirfried to increase cooking suface area.
The "salt and Pepper" techniqe of deepfrieing shellfish is superfluous and worthless, and is only a product of the historicly recent availabilty of mass quantities of Cooking oil to Cantonese Chefs.
After ordering the omnipotently popular Salt and Pepper Crab for 30 dollars at R&G, I am positive that deepfring an animal with an inedible shell is not only futile -- it is counter productive. Flash frying accurs at such a high heat that the flavors of the cooking do not permeate the meat and the flavors of the meat do not reach the coating. Deepfrying the impermeable shell of crab or Prawns insures only that no flavor reaches the meat. If i wanted to keep the flavors of Chinese cuisine out of my Crabmeat, I would stay out of a chinese resteraunt. Even if the coating involved the use of the Crab's tomale, I am not a big fan of picking off and eating "fry" from the outside of a crableg.