I can vaguely remember my first attempt at taking crabs apart. Family and friends were cooking fresh live crabs from the ocean straight into salted boiling water in a huge stockpot. They were delicious! The meat was as fresh as it was gonna get. No sauce..no seasoning...just finger licking good crab meat full of flavour! I was fairly young then..and didn't have much of an idea on how to work my way around the hard shells. I watched the older ladies at the table for a little while..and eventually figured out on my own; where the gills were, where the soft bit of the shell was...and how to tear it apart.
Eating crab is messy...dirty and so much fuss! I personally think it's fun to have friends over and dig at crab shells together. It reminds me of treasure hunting! *laughs* The more complicated it is to get out...the more precious and delicious it will be! It's nice to have fingers full of sauce to lick...and shells to crack before having a good juicy piece of white flesh! MmMmm*.. crabs are fun...
Especially if you make them in sweet and sour Chilli Crab Sauce !!!
Here's my recipe... it doesn't taste exactly like the Singaporean variety of Chili Crab... but it's definitely just as yummy! I like my chili crabs with more CHILI! more garlic...less sweet...and an added touch of lemongrass "ZiNG"
3 Fresh whole crabs
1 Cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup groundnut oil
2 stalks shallots
2 eggs beatenGRIND these ingredients in a blender to form a smooth paste:
- 1 Onion
- 1 stalk lemongrass; end removed
- 1 inch cube ginger
- 4 Cloves garlic
- 5 Red chilies
MIX sauce ingredients in a medium bowl:
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 1 piece red preserved bean curd (can be found at most Chinese supermarkets)
- 2 cups water/seafood stock
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup palm sugar
- 3 tbsps cornflour
Peel the little white flap on the edge upwards...and pull it outwards to expose.
Holding still... flip the crab over and with the other hand...peel off the hard top shell connected to the little white flap you were holding on to.
Remove the gills.
Break this crab piece into 2 halves.
Pull off each claw on each side.Repeat with 2 other crabs and put all pieces into a large bowl. Toss with flour to coat.
Heat oil in a deep wok and cook coated crabs on high flames till shells begin to turn pink.
Remove from heat...and set aside.
Save 3 tbsps of oil in the wok and throw in the ground ingredients.
Cook on medium flames for 2-3 minutes till fragrant. Add in the sauce mixture and stir well.
Finally toss in the crabs and shallots into the sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes till the crab meat is cooked through. Take the wok off the stove and add in the beaten egg in a thin stream while stirring and mixing well.
Serve piping hot with rice...bread..or crackers~
I personally prefer bread... bread is good to use while wiping down my messy plate of delicious red spicy sauce. Hehe.. I eat like a caveman sometimes.You can make these with the soft shell crab variety too! I got a hold of some frozen ones..but they didn't turn out too well. They were pretty cheap; I should have guessed the fishmonger was being dodgy~ *laughs*Well...here's how you take the gills off of the soft shell crabs.. they are very fragile..and you'll have to be fairly gentle with handling them. I coated them in seasoned flour and deepfried them before serving them on top of the same sauce.