This is a lovely dish that Malaysians fall head over heels over it. No matter what race they are (chuckles!!). The other time I went to Pasar Borong Selangor, I craved for some crab dishes, and since its a full moon these few days, its an ideal time to buy some fat flower crabs for lunch yum2~ (happily dancing hula hoop). My hubby truly adores me and loves to pamper me with food (facepalm) and the (not-so) little me cannot stand temptations in terms of quality seafood ingredients. It makes my heart race while fetching for the wok on one hand and a chopper on another (laughing)
Before that, let me give you some tips on how to choose a good fat crab before cooking;
Choosing the right flower crab for cooking !
1) choose the +-15th from the Islamic or Chinese lunar calender for marketing day. Or if you don't know how, juz gaze at the lovely moon, when it shone brightly in a big watermelon shape, go to the market the next day. This is because, more crabs could be caught during this time, hence, the price will drop slightly, and you have many many to choose from :)
2) smell them, and make sure they aren't fishy..this is to check the freshness
3) choose the female ones. How? turn it over, and check its booty haha. there's 2 kinds..the bluish one will have spiky booty (those are males, its a nono)..and another would be slightly brownish with dome-like or fan-like booty, usually larger than the bluish ones..these are the ones you should look for..if you're lucky, you'll get lotsa eggs yum2!
malaysiabest..i edited it abit for labeling)
4) pick the solid and heavy ones..if not you won't get enough meat out of it (sigh)
That's it :) Not that hard ait?
We bought 2 flower crabs..really heavy one ! these 2 already 0.8 kg !! (at that time its RM22-24/kg) the size determined the price..this is considered quite cheap compared to the size hohoho (laughing cockily)
Then lets proceed to how to clean a crab :)
How to clean a crab
1) use a small brush (as in old toothbrush or equivalent - i always kept 1 handy huhu) and lotsa running water..scrub all the crooks and cranny to remove any dirt and grime from the surface
2) turn it on the booty side, flip open the butt, hold down with one hand gently, another hand grab the opposite part and tear away gently to distangle the cap/head from the body..DO NOT throw away any of the slime inside, wash thoroughly with running water only
3) use a heavy mortar stone and hit the elongated 'hand' and pincer of the crab..this is so that eat'll be easier to break during eating
4) cleave the body of the crab into two parts with a heavy chopper for easy access to the flesh
Its ready to be cooked !
Yue's Homemade Chilli Crab (3-4 servings, but we ate juz the 2 of us :P )
For crab preparation*
1-2 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 clove garlic (mash/grind)
1 cm2 ginger (mash/grind)
a few dash of white pepper powder
generous amount of vege oil for deep-frying
a wee bit of water (make it like potato mash consistency)
2 big/yellow onions - julienne
4 cloves garlic - julienne
2-4 tbs chilli paste (2 = mild, 4 = moderately hot)
1 tbs oyster sauce
2 tbs ketchup
1 tbs chilli sauce
1/2 cube chicken stock
a dash of kicap lemak masin (kipas udang) - optional
salt and pepper to taste
1 large beaten egg
1) Dry the crabs in paper towels slightly. Use all the items in * to soil the surface of your crabs. Don't forget to scrub it to the surface of the flesh and the inner side of the cap. If you feel that its not enough, you can add a wee bit of curry powder sumore. Do not let it be watery k..
2) Prepare all the items for gravy making (you may take about 5-10 mins, hence, you can let the crab sit a while in the marination)
3) Heat vege oil in a wok. The amount? at which partially emerges the crab. I think its about 1 cup. At moderate fire, when its hot, fry the crab about 2 mins or so per side. Do not put in all crab. Fry one part at a time and put aside. Repeat until finish. Don't over cook :)
4) Remove part of the oil, leaving about 4-5 tbs. Fry the onions and garlic together until fragrant at high heat. No malas-malas k..keep on moving your hands as not to let them burn.
5) Lower down the fire to medium, add oyster sauce and stir until fragrant (2-3 mins). Then, the chilli paste, again, stir until the oil comes out to the surface (it'll take longer, 5 mins I guess). Add in the chilli sauce and ketchup with a dash of soy sauce (kicap lemak). If you don't have, you can substitute with light soy sauce with a wee bit of dark soy sauce (ratio 1tbs:2 drops). But can just omit this altogether, since kicap lemak taste very differently compared to the conventional soy sauce. Do all these quickly, if not they'll burnt easily.
6) Stir well and add 1/2 cube of chicken stock, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust accordingly. It should taste a little stronger (because you didn't add crab yet). If its too dry, juz add a bit of water (2 tbs like that), we don't want it to be too watery, not nice.
7) Add in crab parts 1 by 1, soiled the surface, and push it to the side of the wok, no need to take it out. Do this to all crab parts until all are coated with the gravy (let the heat at medium low).
8) After all parts have been coated with the gravy, add in 1 beaten egg inside and stir profusely. This'll make the sharp gravy becomes 'soft' and creamy. Lovely.
9) Dish out !
10) Well, if you have some green onions for garnishing, it'll be perfect :) The tomato flower was not a nessescity (shrug). Juz a touch of red to make it prettier haha.
Lovely with warm steamed white rice..yum yum... (droooooling already..)
A must try !