Sweet and Sour Chili Crab with Deep Fried Mantao

I've not been cooking much new recipes lately. But I thought there is no harm in letting old dishes reappear on the dining table, though I personally don't exactly like eating the same dish twice.

The few of us went crabbing yesterday. We headed to Henley beach at 11pm and came back at 3am the following morning!!! Not too bad, we caught 5 medium large crabs. It's a mixture of blue swimmer and mud crabs and some other species that I don't quite know. Yes, I'm bad with crab names. And the picture below, NEVER EVER DO THAT TO A LIVE CRAB! Aaron is crazy!

Nah....actually we put the crab to sleep in the freezer for an hour or so, so it's practically harmless. He thought it looked pretty funny! I reckon too!

To please everyone's tastebud especially my health freak housemate who is 'allergic' to oyster sauce, we couldn't do 'kam heong' style crab. I really love 'kam heong' style cooking. If you don't know what's that, google it up people. It's the most delicious combination ever invented!

I really don't mind sticking back to this same recipe though people always cook this with mud crabs. The secret ingredient here is taucheo or black bean paste. It's typical in Asian houses and I bought it to cook Pongteh style for Aaron.

I tweaked the method a little because it seems all recipe for crab require deep frying before hand. I don't want to because it's unhealthy and if I were to use EVOO, I'll be broke. Aaron cleaned them well, chopped them up and we steamed it over high heat for 12 mins or so. Works fine for us.

Here's the recipe that we've used:

Chilli Crabs:

2 mud crabs or 4 blue swimmer crabs

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
3 fresh red chillies, seeded and chopped
A couple of tablespoon of EVOO

1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup chilli sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 teaspoons salted black beans (optional)

1 egg, beaten
4 spring onions, finely chopped

Start off by cleaning the crab and chop them up into smaller chunks. If necessary, put them to sleep in the freezer for an hour or so if they are alive. Steam them on high heat for 12 mins or so. Retain any essence or juice from steaming.

Heat up the oil until smoky in a pan large enough to accommodate all the crab pieces. Turn the heat to low and fry the ginger, garlic and chillies, stirring, until soft and golden. Add the sauce mixture and bring to boil.

Return the crab pieces to the wok and let them simmer in the sauce for 5 minutes, with the lid on. Uncover and dribble in the beaten egg, toss in the spring onions, and cook without stirring until the egg sets. Serve with steamed rice.

We hope you all will enjoy it as much as we did when eating this finger licking good crabs. Just get your hands down dirty and eat with no etiquette to truly enjoy the sweet flesh!

Being a Hokkien, my house treated the 8th day of the Chinese New Year as a Grand Day. How grand you ask me. This grand:

That's my long dining table all full with practically everything edible!

That's my marble table used for kneading breads and buns, also full!

Right outside my house, all these edible food are arranged. They must have a certain sequence and so forth.

This the the mother of all Piggy. We'll usually get my Aunt to chop this up and we give generous slices of this 'siew yuk', some red eggs, mandarin oranges and angku kuihs to neighbours and relatives.

That's the other end of the long prayer table. I really dunno what's that huge paper sculpture is for. We just burn it but I don't know to whom and what's the purpose behind doing all these. In my house, we are not allowed to questions all these. All I know is I actually hold the joysticks twice every year, once on Chinese New Year's Eve and once again on this 'Grand Day'.

Prayers are usually lead by Dad and Ma Ma. Just look at my dad, he's even wearing a red shirt which symbolizes prosperity!

This dish is whipped up by me, using the two sacrificed crabs for prayers. They're poached before hand and hence the redish shell. This is in fact a Peranakan originated dish. I wouldn't wanna start arguing with you people if any of you comes up to my face and start claiming titles. For me, this is a Peranakan dish!

I paired this with deep-fried mantao, just like how they always do it in the restaurants. These little bun would soak up all the yummy gravy of the crab. The gravy was flavourful, strong distinct crab taste and is good on both rice and mantao.

The mantao was really soft upon deep frying. You need to serve this immediately. It turned stale and a little hard when it's cold. 30 secs in the microwave revived its fluffiness. I've used this chilli crab recipe and this steamed mantao recipe. I love Susan Chua's site. See? Told you it's a Nyonya dish!

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yours deliciously said...

Oh, how I miss crabbing in the summer in Oz.
That's a pretty mean looking crab you got there..hehe..

Quinn said...

Thanks! Yeah, crabbing was funa nd hell yeah, the crabs really were mean. When we were cathing it and transporting it home, there's a lot of time it wanted to pop out from the pail to snip us with its claws!!!

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