Last Monday, memorial day, my husband and I decided to take a day trip with our dog to Beverly Hills. It was a beautiful sunny day in Southern California, that you just had to get out of the house and take in some sun. After drooling over the mansions in Bel-Air, we thought we'd continue heading West to the beach in Santa Monica, so we can stretch our legs, and walk the dog.
Ooops! Traffic on the freeway just before our exit. I thought maybe it was just freeway traffic, so we decided to take one exit early and just take the side streets. As we got to Ocean Blvd. we hit more traffic. Now we're thinking everyone's at the beach. We continued on to get to the beach side parking, but it was just packed. Never mind, let's turn around and head home was the consensus. I guess if we tried hard enough, we could have found parking, but it was getting late, it's a long drive back home, and we were a little tired too. So, if we can't go to the beach, bring the beach home, by way of seafood.
This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe called Singapore Style Crab. I've never been to Singapore so I don't know how their famous crab really tastes. I had my Singaporean friend do a taste test and a critique for me, and she said it's not quite the crab she remembers from back home. But she still loved it anyway, so I decided to change the name to Sweet & Spicy Crab. And of course I love it too. I can't even begin to describe how good this turned out to be. First, the thickness of the sauce as you suck the meat out of the crab shells ensures that you always get a flavor down to the tiniest meat. It's spicy, it's salty, it's sweet, and a little sour, followed by the tender sweet meat of the crab, and then you bite into some cilantro....man, if heaven was made on a plate, this would be it! Make sure to have wet paper towels for your hands. The sauce is just to-die-for in my opinion, and it's finger lickin' good. Make extra rice because you will definitely be grabbing for more. I'm ready for a second helping!
1 dungeness crab or stone crab
1 tablespoon salt
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 stalk of scallions
1 Thai chili
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder or fresh ginger
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon tamarind soup base powder mix
1. Boil the crab in water with about 1 tablespoon of salt for about 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the cooking sauce. Set aside.
3. Remove crab from water and wait until cool to the touch. Remove and discard the top of the crab and the gills. Cut up the crab into quarters. Crack the legs and claws.
4. Heat up the oil and saute the garlic until golden brown. Add the chili, scallions and crab. Stir well until the sauce thickens and it is well incorporated into the crab. If the sauce is too thick, use the crab water to thin it down a bit. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Serve with generous mounds of rice.
Garlic, chili, scallions, and cilantro.
I used Stone Crab for this recipe, but you can definitely substitute it with Dungeness Crab.