There are certain dishes that I will always remember from my backpacking days, most certainly the food in Singapore made such an impression on me that I have always longed to go back. The wonderful thing about the Singaporean cuisine is how eclectic the food is, I think this is because of the huge ethnical diversity which culminates in the multicultural boiling pot that is Singapore. With such influences as Thai, Chinese, vietnamese, indian, Malay to name but a few, there is no wonder that the food in Singapore is so revered. I have very fond memories of both very smartly dressed business men and regular locals rubbing shoulders at hawker stalls munching away on the fiery crustacteans. If you love Seafood and a little fire in your belly this is the dish your you, wonderfully light but flavourful and completely antisocial and messy, to be eaten with a dozen napkins and with someone who will not think any less of you when you have sauce all over your face.
You will need:
1 tbsp of sesame oil
1 tbsp Chilli Garlic sauce such at lee kum kee
100ml of tomato ketchup (that's right, you heard me!)
1 tbsp oyster sauce (I like thai boy oyster sauce)
4 tablespoons sugar
1 tbsp soy
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 tsp chilli oil
1 tsp shriracha chilli sauce (I use Flying goose brand)
4 tablespoons of chopped ginger
8 cloves of garlic chopped
4 stalks of spring onions chopped
2 lemon grass stalks (inner part only) finely chopped
3 tablespoons of chinese chives finely chopped
2 red chillies finely chopped (seeds removed if you can handle the heat)
2 tablespoons of peanut oil
1 tbsp cornflour
1 kg of blue swimmer crabs, raw not cooked (I bought this frozen at my local asian supermarket)
The finishing touches
A small bunch of corriander
1 sliced red chilli
3 sliced spring onions
3 tablespoons of chopped chinese chives
Mix all the items for the sauce into a bowl and set aside for later.
Begin by frying the aromatics (see above) in the peanut oil, once you can smell the garlic add the crab and the 200ml of water.
When the crab is starting to turn red add the sauce and allow to cook throughly, this should take about fifteen minutes, I used a lid to allow the crab to steam cook.
Once the crab is cooked, mix the cornflour and 60ml of cold water together and add this to the crab to thicken the chilli sauce.
Finish with a scattering of all the above finishing touches.
Serve with steamed rice.