Monday, March 24, 2014

Singapore Chilli Crabs

I've been watching too much Food Network Asia.

It has really inspired me to be more adventurous in preparing dinner! I'm good in baking but crap at cooking - but during my maternity leave I kept watching episodes after episodes of French cuisine, Mexican food, even ten dollar dinners to grilled burgers. However, the ones that inspired me the most were those short snippets where Asian celebrities try out local cuisine in Singapore, KL, and a couple of other places such as Korea and Taiwan for frog legs and live octopus *erk* okay those I usually don't watch.

So, during my last grocery outing, for some reason, my hand grabbed crabs! Honestly, since I got married I have only tried cooking crabs once and it was a complete disaster. The taste didn't really penetrate the crabs and digging the meat out required so much effort - it wasn't worth it. But this time I around, I conquered my fear of crabs and wanted to try and make Singapore Chilli Crabs! Googled for the recipe and was quite surprised about how easy they were to make.

Recipe from here:

For the Sauce
Tomato Ketchup – 5 tbsp
Water – 1 cup
Sugar – 1 1/2 – 3 tbsp, or according to taste
Cornflower – 1 1/2 tsp
Soya Beans or Dark Miso (optional) – 1 tsp pounded brown preserved Soya Beans
For the Crab
Crab – 1 large, prepared for cooking - go in for a large Mud Crab
Garlic – 6 cloves
Egg – 1
Spring Onions or Scallions – 2, cut into finger lengths
Lime or Lemon Juice – 1tsp,
Freshly squeezed Coriander leaves or Cilantro – 1 small fresh bunch, cut into 2 cm long pieces

Method of Preparation:
- Whisk all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside
- Pound or grind Garlic and Chilies to a rough paste
- Heat Oil in a wok over high heat
- Add Garlic and Chili paste and fry till fragrant
- Add Crab and stir fry until the shells turn slightly red
- Add Sauce. Stir well, cover the wok and simmer till the shells turn bright red, indicating that the Crab is cooked
- Break the Egg into the Sauce and mix well. Simmer for another 10 seconds
- Turn off the heat and stir in spring onions and lime or lemon juice
- Garnish with freshly chopped Coriander leaves and serve hot

How I did it differently:
  • I used some fish sauce and oyster sauce, to taste.
  • I didn't have soya beans, dark miso or any of the spring onions, scallions, coriander leaves nor cilantro - but it still tasted good.
  • I cut the crab body in half then slightly cracked the legs and claws so that they are easier to break later.
  • I added half of the egg during cooking, then when Hubby walked through our house door - I reheated the dish and added the remaining half of the egg.

Soooo good.....
Served with sayur campur, and of Aiden's favourite telur dadar.
Definitely repeating it again!

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