mercredi, mars 24, 2010

Singapore Black Pepper Flower Crab

Singapore Black Pepper Flower Crab

When I was a kid, dad used to bring us to eat seafood almost every weekend. Yes, almost every weekend. I grew up eating crabs cooked in all possible styles in Singapore. My maternal grandpa used to sell live crabs in the wet market, so it's probably in my genes.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw frozen raw blue flower crabs in the small Chinese store yesterday. I just had to get them. Thawed them in the fridge and when I came back from CT's wonderful lunch, I cooked them - even though I've already eaten and drunk too much.

Blue Flower Crab
My version of the Singapore Black Pepper Flower Crab is one as I remembered eating at the now defunct Chin Wah Heng Seafood Restaurant. It contained curry leaves and lemongrass and was called Kumhiong Hai. And only the initiated was able to ask for it since the dish was never printed on the menu.

I couldn't stop eating it once I started. The flesh of these frozen flower crabs was surprisingly sweet and firm too.

Singapore Black Pepper Flower Crab :

2 large raw Blue Flower Crabs (about 1 Kg)
2 Tbsp ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp ground White Pepper
1/2 Tsp ground Coriander
30g Butter
A handful of Curry leaves
1 Lemongrass stalk (bashed and sliced)
1 Thai Chilli (sliced)
2 Shallots (sliced)
1 large slice fresh Ginger (julienned)
2-3 Garlic cloves (chopped or minced)
2 Tbsp toasted minced dried Shrimps
2 Tbsp good-quality Dark Soy sauce
2-3 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
2-3 Tbsp Chinese cooking wine

One good thing about frozen crabs is that they are already dead. You have no ethical question to ask of yourself. How to kill it : humanely for you (your nerves) or for the crab? You just pull open the shell, remove the organs and chop it into 2. Rinse and pat dry with a kitchen towel. If you wish, use a nut cracker or cleaver to gently crack the claws and legs.

Prepare all the ingredients before starting to cook
Dry roast the ground coriander, black and white pepper in a hot wok. Remove and set aside.

Heat up some peanut oil in the wok and when it's very hot, add the raw crabs. Fry them till they turn white from blue on the outside. But do not cook them through. Remove and set aside. If necessary, clean the wok.

Melt the butter in the hot wok and fry the shallots, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, curry leaves and dried shrimps till fragrant.

Stir in the dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and wine.

Return the crabs to the wok and coat them in the sauce.

Sprinkle the pepper all over the crabs and mix well. Or add the pepper to the sauce before returning the crabs to the wok.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and spring onions if desired. Serve hot.

PS 1 : If you want more sauce, just add some water to the sauce.

PS 2 : In Singapore, we usually make this dish with Sri Lanka crabs. I have tried using the more common stone crabs (tourteaux) that we find here in Europe and find that their shell is too hard and their flesh too salty to do justice to this method of preparing crab. So wherever possible, use the smaller blue flower crab instead.

1 commentaire:

Pris a dit…

Great for you that you found crabs!!! :) They look yummy!