Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Singaporean Inspired Chilli Crabs

December 23, 4am.  I am drafting this post while listening to the loud snoring of my husband.  I'm light headed, my eyes are getting heavy, yet my brains cells are still active. I want to go to sleep but sleep alludes me.  I'm blaming the brewed coffee we had this morning.  I will never have coffee at mcdonald's ever again.

December 24, past 12 noon.  My husband and I just woke up.  We had a wonderful time with friends last night.  Thank you all for coming over.  You made our Christmas spirit alive.  Merry Christmas!

Going back for a few months, last April 4, 2013 to be exact, I cooked this Chilli crabs.  Chilli crabs is a very famous dish in Singapore as well as in Malaysia.  Malaysian Chilli Crabs though are different with that of the Singaporean's.  The difference lies in the sauce:  tomato-based sauce is used for the Singaporean chilli crab and for the Malaysian's recipe tamarind-soy bean based sauce is used (see the recipe of Rasamalaysia ).  Mud crabs or soft shelled crabs are used for the Malaysian and Singaporean Chilli Crabs recipes.  

My chilli crab was inspired by the Singaporean recipe.  It may not taste as close to the Singaporean chilli crabs nor was it prepared the same way as the Singaporeans do it, but it is still delicious on its own. I also used whatever crab we can buy from the supermarket (not sure of the specie :D )

You can check the original Singapore Chilli Crabs recipe of Violet Oon  below this post (I made the liberty to copy and paste it here) 

( http://www.myfresha-licious.com/ )

Ingredients : 

Crabs, cut into 2 - 6 to 8 pcs
Ginger - 6 slices
Garlic, coarsely chopped - 5 cloves
Onions, diced - 1 medium
Red Chilli, julienned- 5 pcs or as desired
Water - 1/4 c
Sunflower oil - 1 tbsp

Sauce :

Tomato Catsup - 3 tbsp
low Sodium Salt - 1 tsp or to taste
Brown Sugar - 2 tsp
Black pepper powder
Water - 1/3 c

Cooking Procedure :

1.  Mix sauce together and set aside.
2.  In a wok, place oil, garlic, and red chilli.  Stir.
3.  Add the ginger and stir.  Then add the onions and the crabs.  Continue stirring for a minute or until the crabs changed in color.  Pour 1/4 cup of water and let it simmer for at least 5 minutes under low fire.  Cover the wok.
4. Pour the sauce on the crab.  Simmer for another 10 minutes

Serve with blanched or boiled spinach or pechay or any leafy green vegetables that you have on hand.

© myFresha-licious (24December2013)

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How to Make Singapore Chilli Crab (Original)
(http://www.singaporelocalfavourites.com/2009/09/singapore-chilli-crab-original.html )
Ingredients for Singapore Chilli Crab:
  • 1 lb (450g) mud crabs or soft shelled crabs
  • 4 tbsp plain flour if using soft shelled crabs
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil*
  • 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 8 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into finger length
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
  • 1 small bunch coriander plant (cilantro)
*For soft-shelled crabs, oil for deep frying

Mix together for Sauce
  • 1 cup of water, 5 tbsp tomato catsup, 1 1/2 to 3 tbsp sugar, or according to taste, 1 1/2 tsp cornflour, 1 tsp pounded brown preserved soya beans or dark miso (optional), 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat. 
  2. Add garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute. 
  3. Add the chilli, stir-fry till fragrant. For mud crabs, add at this stage. Fry well till shells start turning red, add sauce ingredients stir well, cover with lid and simmer till shells are red. 
  4. Break eggs into the wok and streak with a fork, simmer till cooked. Squeeze lime juice over and stir in scallions. 
  5. For soft-shelled crabs, cut each crab into four, dry well, dredge in flour and deep fry till golden brown and crispy. Make the sauce as above, but omit the mud crabs. 
  6. Toss soft shelled crabs in sauce just before serving.
Recipe by VIOLET OON
This unofficial ‘national dish’ is usually prepared with fresh succulent crabs in a hearty, sweet and spicy gravy and is best eaten with your fingers! Mop up the mouth-watering gravy with white bread or Chinese mantou (buns).
Photo Credit - Mervin Chiang

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