Thursday, October 1, 2009

Homemade Singapore Chilli Crab in London - well worth the hassle


large Cornish Crab split into halves at Steve Hatt's on our behest


After watching Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey on BBC, we have taken to recreate the dishes that we are familiar with. To be more precise, Wife is determined to cook them and I to eat them. Works well for both of us as any cook will tell you that the most wanting part of cooking is finding people to finish up the food.

Anyway, Wife swore by Rick Stein's Far Eastern Odyssey recipe book especially for his chicken rice recipe. According to her, unlike many other cookbooks on Asian recipes, Far Eastern Odyssey actually tries to substitute certain hard to get ingredients (in this part of the world) with those available in London's supermarkets. In fact, if you are feeling a bit more adventurous, a single trip down to Chinatown would probably get you everything you need for Rick's recipes.

Although Rick made no mention about Singapore's Chiili Crab in his book, Wife managed to find the Singapore Chilli Crab recipe on Uniquely Singapore's website the decided that that'll be the first recipe that she'll try and so off we go to Steve Hatt, our local fishmonger.

Having called a day earlier to order live crabs, Steve specially brought in three huge Cornish crabs (by my standards) for us. The crabs were still rather lively when hoisted up onto the weighing scale and seeing that Wife requested they be slaughtered and spilt into halves. I once saw Dad kill a live crab before with a single chopstick and that is something that I will never want to try.


Chilli Crab - all I need are some buns to go with that gravy

Considering that Melban (this crab place in Singapore's Ang Mo Kio) is selling Chilli Crabs for S$60 per kg (app. £26), the live crabs we got from Steve Hatt's, at £16 (app. 2.5kg), were relatively affordable. The cooking and preparation for our Chilli Crab took less than 90 minutes that evening and we had a crab feast that night. One thing is for sure, I wouldn't be heading to Melban the next time I visit Singapore. If only we can flip some roti pratas as well. Hmm.

We tried out the fish head curry recipe in Rick Stein's Far East Odyssey the next evening and that tasted fabulous as well. Oh, if you're hardcore about your curry, there is a recipe in there that teaches you how to create your curry paste from scratch.

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