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Chilli Crabs Recipe {or How to Cook Singapore-Style Crabs with Chilli Sauce}

Crabbing is something that we've been meaning to do as a family for some time now. However, we only managed to brave the whole idea after we joined some people we know for a short crabbing session last year. In fact, I shared the recipe for Blue Crabs and Vegetables in Coconut Sauce - which was the product of the crabbing session. But, even with that experience, we only really went on our own crabbing last weekend.

On the first day, we only caught small crabs. But, since we can't legally keep those crabs, we ended up throwing about 50 small crabs back in to the sea. The next day, we went out again. And that time, we were much happier after catching 3 decent-sized sand crabs and 1 big blue crab. And, I decided to give cooking chilli crabs a go.

You see, I discovered chilli crabs when I was living in Singapore some time ago. And, it was love at first bite. In fact, every time I get the chance to visit Singapore again, the trip is not complete without eating chilli crabs in a Chinese restaurant or hawker centre.

Since I haven't had chilli crabs for a while, I thought I might as well try cooking them. So, I searched for recipes on the 'net and found some that seemed interesting including this and this. But, I decided to make some adjustments while I was cooking. And, since I've had a few requests to share my recipe, I thought I'd write it down here for easy access -

 

Chilli Crabs Recipe

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Asian
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 - 6
This how to cook Singapore-style chilli crabs.
Ingredients
  • 3 - 4 Fresh Blue Crabs / Sand Crabs / Mud Crabs (approx. 300 grams each)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 10 tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar (or more, if wanting more sweetness in sauce)
  • 3 tsp cornflour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 8 cloves of chopped fresh garlic
  • 4 pieces of chopped fresh red chilli (I used Thai-style chillis but other types of red chilli might also work)
  • 5 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic and herb salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, chopped in to small pieces
  • 2 tsps fresh lime juice (or lemon or cumquat juice)
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Instructions
  1. Mix the sauce ingredients together first in a big bowl. Just put together water, tomato sauce, cornflour, sugar, and salt and mix them using a fork until they're dissolved.
  2. Heat the saucepan or wok and add the vegetable oil.
  3. Sauté the chopped garlic until light brown (takes just a few seconds to a minute in a hot pan).
  4. Add the chopped red chilli and sauté quickly until you can smell the spice.
  5. Mix in the fresh crabs and fry them together until the crabs turn red (orange-y colour). The length of this will vary on the number of crabs being cooked at the same time - and their sizes.
  6. Once the crabs are red, slowly add the sauce mixture in. Mix in the oyster sauce and the garlic and herb salt. Stir and let simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. Again, this will depend on the crab sizes and number. You'll know when the crabs are cooked by the crab shell's colour (turning orange).
  7. While still simmering, add the eggs in. And, break the eggs using your wooden spoon or fork. Make sure you do this quickly, so that the eggs won't get lumpy.
  8. Then, add the freshly squeezed lime juice, spring onions and some fresh coriander. Stir.
  9. Once cooked, put the crabs in a big serving dish and drizzle the sauce on top. Then, sprinkle the rest of the chopped fresh coriander.

 

I love eating this with fresh steamed white rice. And perhaps, a stir-fried vegetable dish (usually, bok choy with oyster sauce and garlic).

It's also great to eat chilli crabs with Chinese-style fried bread buns. I'm still on the lookout for recipes for those buns. Especially yummy for trying to make the most out of the sauce! Anyway, I'll let you know if I ever come across them.

Right now, I'm just sooo glad to learn how to make one of my all-time favourite dishes. Chilli crabs will probably be a much-requested dish during the summer crabbing season. 🙂

If you ever give this recipe, please let me know. I'd love to hear about it!

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Pakistani Chicken Curry Recipe

It's Foodie Friday once again. So, I thought I'd share another recipe. This time, I'm sharing the recipe for what seems to have become my "signature dish". For some reason, this dish is one that my friends and family just absolutely love soooo much. And, it's probably one of my personal favourites too.

I learned how to cook this when my husband and I were living in Singapore a few years ago. We had some friends from Pakistan (twin brothers married to two sisters) living in our building. And, we used to go to have dinner parties together. My husband and I fell in love with this dish. That's why I requested our female friends to teach me how to make this chicken curry dish. They were only too happy to share. So, one evening, I stood in their kitchen, watching them cook the curry while I took notes and asked questions. It was a great way to learn a new dish from another culture!

Since I've been receiving a few requests about sharing this recipe, I thought I might as well blog about it here. I actually have blogged about this recipe many years ago on this blog. But, I've taken down all my blog posts pre-2004, which included this chicken curry recipe. So, this is my second try in blogging about this yummy dish.

Anyway, this recipe is now partly modified, as I learned to tweak it in my own way. I hope you enjoy it!

Pakistani Chicken Curry Recipe

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Asian
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This is the family's absolute favourite curry dish. Never fails.
Ingredients
  • 2 sliced red onions (medium sized)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 kg chicken pieces
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder (adjust to your own spice threshold!)
  • 1 tbsp dry coriander
  • 1 tbsp iodised salt
  • 1/2 tbsp tumeric powder
  • 8 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 cup water or chicken stock
  • 2 cubed tomatoes
  • approx. 2 inches' worth of fresh ginger (sliced thinly)
  • 2 sliced fresh long green chili
  • 1/2 cup of fresh coriander
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, quartered.
Instructions
  1. Stir fry the sliced onion in oil until light brown.
  2. Add the chicken. Cook until light brown on both sides. (Alternatively, you can lightly brown the chicken in another pan first.)
  3. Add garlic paste, ginger paste, red chili powder, dry coriander, salt, tumeric powder, and yoghurt. Stir together.
  4. Add water or stock. Continue to stir together.
  5. Add the potatoes. Again, stir.
  6. Put on the pan's lid. Lower the heat and allow the meat and potatoes to cook.
  7. When meat and potatoes are cooked, add tomatoes, fresh ginger slices, green chili, and fresh coriander. Don't mix. Put the lid back on and allow to cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Take the lid off then stir together. Leave to cook for another 5 minutes, until tomatoes are fully cooked (skin's peeling off) and potatoes are soft.
  9. Turn it off and let it stand for a few minutes before serving.
Notes

If you wish, you can put this chicken curry in the fridge overnight and serve the next day. Curries tend to taste nicer after a day.[br] This chicken curry dish is best served with basmati rice, fresh green vegetable salad, and a warm nan/roti or popadums.

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Scones with Cream + Jam Recipe {Foodie Friday}

Scones with Cream & Jam

For the longest time, I wanted to try baking scones. Mostly because my English husband turned me on to them. And, I started tasting some really yummy homemade scones baked by some friends. In fact, I prefer the homemade ones than those that I've tried from cafes or restaurants so far.

Besides, people kept telling me that they're way easy to do. Even if I'm not an expert baker. So, a few weeks ago, I decided to look for a recipe online that seems simple enough. So, on that very weekend, I decide to bake some scones based on this recipe that I found. And wow - it turned out great (if I do say so myself ;-)). And, I was even surprised how well the scones stayed fresh even after a few days. Even after 3 or 4 days, all I needed was to pop one or two in the microwave for about 20 seconds and voila - I got warm fresh scones.

Anyway, I was just going to share the link to the recipe with you. But, unfortunately, the link seems to have stopped working. So, I thought I'll re-write the recipe in my own way and share it with you here as best as I can -

General Preparation Time: 20 to 30 minutes; more if you allow for extra standing time for the dough

What You Need (Ingredients):

  • 500 g self-raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 cups full cream milk
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 60 g butter
  • whipped cream (as needed)
  • strawberry/raspberry jam (as needed)

How To Bake The Fluffy Fresh Scones:

Step 1: Sift the flour, sugar, and baking powder in to a large mixing bowl. This is your dry ingredients mixture. Set aside.

Step 2: Beat the egg in a separate bowl.

Step 3: Melt the butter in the microwave. I did this by putting the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and melting it bit by bit (10-20 seconds or so at a time), and mixing. Slow melting is best to avoid burning the butter. Some people might choose to melt the butter in a pan, but I prefer the microwave option.

Step 4: Add the beaten egg, milk, and melted butter in to the dry ingredients mix. Mix them in to a dough using a hand whisk or a wooden spoon.

Step 5: Prepare a board by spreading some flour on it.

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Plain Roast Chicken


Plain Roast Chicken

I do roast chicken in two different ways: one is a garnished version and the other one is a plain version. For a typical roast meal, I usually go for the garnished version. For a chicken rice meal, I go for the plain version. This is how I do the plain one.

1) Get a fresh or a fully defrosted whole chicken cleaned and ready. And then I pre-heat my oven to about 190° (normal bake) or 180° (fan bake).

2) Put the chicken in a roasting or baking pan. If I'm using a baking pan, I usually line it with aluminium foil. It makes for an easier after-cooking clean-up!

3) Season the chicken with salt, cracked black pepper, and half a teaspoon of soy sauce.

4) Optionally, I add a tablespoon of dried coriander leaves and/or squeeze half a lemon or lime juice on to the chicken.

5) Baste the chicken with vegetable or olive oil.

6) Pop the whole thing in the oven.

7) After 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of the chicken), I check how the chicken is cooking - like how fast the outside is turning brown, blood ooze, etc. I sometimes poke it with a small knife or fork to check too. If the outside bits seem to be cooking much faster (getting brown too quickly), I lower the temperature of the oven. If the inside bits seem to be cooking well but the outside bit isn't turning as brown as I'd like it to, I increase the oven temperature. And, I continue cooking for another 15-30 minutes.

8) Once the chicken's cooked inside out, it's ready to be served.

Even if you're not thinking of doing a Singaporean Chicken Rice meal, you can still use this plain roast chicken recipe. You can serve it with potatoes (mashed, chips, roast, baked) or with plain jasmine rice. Next time, I'll share how I do the whole chicken rice meal dish.

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Chicken Sopas Recipe

 

This is the dish that somehow rekindled my interest in keeping a food blog. I recently re-discovered Chicken Sopas when winter hit Adelaide a couple of months ago. I've been meaning to write down the recipe that I have in my head (hacked from various recipes I found and from memory when I used to cook it years ago). But, I keep forgetting. So, I took a photo to remind me of what it looks like, hoping that the photo would jog my memory. So, here's hoping that I'm going to get this right... If I use any wrong cooking terminologies, please excuse me and feel free to enlighten me. 🙂

Again, please note that I'm not an "official cook" or a chef, so I might not do things "the right way" all the time. All I know is that my food's edible and that my family and friends enjoy my cooking, so 'nuff said. 😉

Hope you enjoy my version of the Filipino chicken sopas:

Chicken Sopas Recipe

Recipe Type: Soup
Cuisine: Filipino
Author: ShaiCoggins.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 200-250 grams chicken shredded
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 pc chicken stock cube
  • 1 pc small onion sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic minced or chopped
  • 1 tsp cooking oil vegetable or canola
  • 1 cup small shell pasta (alternative: elbow macaroni)
  • 1 pc carrot cubed (small)
  • 1 stalk celery chopped or sliced
  • 1/2 cup cabbage shredded
  • 1 pc egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp fish sauce (aka 'patis', optional)
Instructions
  1. Boil the chicken in the water. You can add the salt and pepper, if you like.
  2. Once the chicken is cooked, take it out of the water to shred or to slice. Save the water as stock for later. Set aside the shredded chicken.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and saute until slightly brown, then add the onions.
  4. Add the shredded chicken.
  5. When the chicken is slightly brown, add the water (chicken stock). Add the chicken stock cube, if preferred.
  6. When the water boils, add the pasta. Make sure that there's enough water left for the pasta to cook. Just keep adding 1/2 cup of plain water (preferably hot), if/when needed. Make sure that you have enough liquid for a soup.
  7. As soon as the pasta is 'al dente' (not quite cooked, but already softened), add the carrots and celery. Stir.
  8. After 2-3 minutes, add the shredded cabbage. Keep stirring.
  9. Add the egg. Make sure that you stir and break the egg - so you don't get one lump of egg in your soup.
  10. Once the egg is "stirred in" the soup, slowly add the milk and keep stirring. Remember not to add the milk all at once and you must stir, stir, stir. Otherwise, the milk might "curdle". And, that's not a pretty sight!
  11. When you've successfully added all the ingredients, check if you need to add salt and/or pepper. Some people also opt to use fish sauce.
  12. That's it! You can now enjoy your chicken sopas.
Notes

I used to use elbow macaroni, but I found that I prefer the shell pasta nowadays. You can use either macaroni or the shell pasta.

[br]I prefer to use freshly ground black pepper, but you can use any other type.

 

You can eat chicken sopas on its own. But, some people might like to eat it with rice and/or bread

All I know is that it definitely hits the spot when I'm feeling icky and/or cold.

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