Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crabs - Singapore style

The final dish, fried crabs stir fried with black pepper till it is fragrant and peppery

The crabs are dipped in tapioca flour before the deep fry process

Singapore is famous for its crab dishes, mainly chilli crabs and black pepper crabs. Chili crab was created in 1950 by Singapore chef, Cher Yam Tian who ran the Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant with her husband in Upper East Coast Road. Since then, this dish is widely found in restuarants and tze char places all over Singapore. Black pepper crabs on the other hand was created by Long Beach Seafood Restaurant in 1959.

When I first got married, chilli crab was the first dish I learnt from a famous Singapore cookbook, followed by paper wrap chicken. I still make paper wrap chicken during occassions when friends visit but less of chilli crabs which is a huge favourite of my husband. As he is not Chinese, the only crabs he ever tasted before we met were flower crabs in a curry sauce. He now loves chilli crabs and subsequently pepper crabs which we learnt to make without a receipe but by trial and error. In fact, there was a period of time when we ate crabs so very often. I was carrying my second kid at that time and according to some old wives' tale, eating too much crabs will cause the kid to pinch alot. I laughed it off , ignored it and continued eating it very regularly. Not sure if it was a coincidence but that kid actually grew up to be hell of a pincher. My elder daughter was a victim of the pinches.The old wives' tale could be true but it could also be due to her stubborn, naughty nature. It has been a long while since we indulged in some home cooked crabs but just last week, we bought some mud crabs and made a black pepper version of it. My kids relished it and they were really quiet at dinner time trying to concentrate on getting the meat out of those hard to reach places. It is really messy to eat crabs and the best place is really home where you don't have to worry that much about looking less elegant.

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