This is supposed to be Singapore’s national dish but Malaysians are very partial to it too. It is a bit like we Australians; anything good from NZ we accept it as our own but we take the Mickey out of the Kiwis when it suits us!
There are a few dos and don’ts when eating Chilli Crab:
Do set aside a longer time for dinner – eating crab is time consuming;
Do try to fry the crabs outside – it spits when you fry them in the oil and it makes your kitchen all sticky. If you have a wok burner on your barbie, use it;
Do put your table manners away – there is only one way to eat crab and that is with your fingers;
Don’t wear a white top – you will regret it;
Do not rub eyes until you have washed your hands very, very thoroughly; and
Make sure that you have something else lined up, maybe dessert – eating crabs is hard work and you will be hungry again after an hour or two!
Here’s my rendition of Chilli Crabs.
1 kg fresh mud crabs or blue swimmers – cleaned and halved
6 cloves garlic – chopped
Thumb size fresh young ginger – chopped
4 large red chillies – finely chopped
4 bird’e eye chillies – finely chopped (optional)
½ cup chilli sauce (I used Yeo’s brand)
½ cup tomato sauce
2 to 3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup chicken stock (I used 1 ½ tsp chicken stock powder mixed into 1 cup hot water)
1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 3 tbsp water (you may not need to use this if you like a bit of sauce with your crabs)
1 egg – lightly beaten
Salt and black cracked pepper to taste
2 spring onions – sliced finely at an angle
Deep fry crabs in hot oil until it turns bright red. Be careful as it will spit and splatter when you put the crabs in the hot oil. Remove and set aside.
Pour out the oil and put ¼ cup of fresh oil in a large wok. Heat and fry the garlic, ginger and chillies. Stir until fragrant.
Add in all the sauces, sugar and sesame oil; cook for a minute and season with pepper and salt.
Add in the cooked crab, toss well to coat with the sauce. Add in the chicken stock and cook on high heat for around 3 mins. Move the crabs to the side of the wok and stir in the egg and corn flour if using. Mix well and cover the crab with the sauce again. Add in the spring onions, lift and serve on its own or with some rice/crusty bread.
We had MINI APPLE TURNOVERS WITH ICE CREAM for dessert. I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.