There are so many things synonymous to Singapore and one of the closest has to be their Chili Crab dish. I have seen festivals in New York, London, Amsterdam -- celebrating this delicious, "addictive", messy, face-painting dish! *my mouth is watering already*
Me and my friends went to Ngee Ann City (hear that, Abby? Ha!) last Saturday for the 2007 Singapore Food Festival kick off. This festival is month-wide but on this particular segment (29Jun-1 July), it’s the Chili Crabs! – The world-famous dish that put Singapore on the culinary map.
We watched some games and cooking contests and some la-la-lahs and we really enjoyed ourselves sampling recipes – the Chili Crab has officially replaced the Big Mac and the Nasi Lemak as MY ultimate favorite food. There – it’s written. Take that!
I smacked, cracked and sucked those delicious crabs. Half of my face was all orange -- but WHO CARES? It's a crab and this is the way to eat it. Bare hands and all -- I fingered every single hole and sucked out every single drop of milky meat! *Oh it was heaven!* I'm sure if those crabs are still alive, they're gonna moan loud enough to scandalize the Little Mermaid.
I asked a very generous Singaporean lady to give me HER Singapore Chili Crab recipe. Just so if you fancy cooking one for yourself and suck those crabs till kingdom come -- here’s how to make this delectable chili crabs the Singapore way:
Singapore Chilli Crab Recipe
3 tbsp fresh garlic
2 tbsp fresh ginger or galangal
1 teaspoon fresh lemongrass
1/2 medium onion
2 fresh red chillies
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 cups water
4 fresh blue swimmer crab (cleaned & halved)
(or 2 x 800g mud crab, quartered & claws lightly smashed)
1 egg beaten
4 slices white bread, toasted
Blend the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, onion and chilies to a fine paste, using 1/2 cup of water to moisten the mix. Heat oil in large wok or pot. Add the blended ingredients and fry until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, chili sauce, salt, sugar and water. Stir, and when it comes to the boil, add the crab. Allow to simmer, cover and stir occasionally for approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the beaten egg to sauce and mix well.
I have no idea how its Thai counter part is done -- because we got Thai Chili Crabs too! I guess I need help here. In the mean time, while I’m in Singapore, I’ll pig out on my NEW ultimate favorite dish – one of Southeast Asia's culinary gems – the Singapore Chili Crab. Yum yum!
--Pisanu, Sofia and
Morgan in Singapore