Saturday, February 20, 2010

Chili Crab for Pak Mat

A crab feast for the man from Bachok.

Dear Pak Mat,
We have never met in real life but our relationship has blossomed in blogosphere. My cat instinct could sense a sadness in you. A sadness that only comfort eating may cure, in my humble opinion.
So, today, Masterchef Angelina went to the markets and picked some delectable crustaceans - the blue swimmer crabs. Combined with some herbs from our garden and lovely home made chili paste, I humbly present to you a crab recipe that I hope will comfort you.
Should we invite Mrs Mat as well, you said? I'll leave that entirely to you. I'm guessing that she won't be jealous of a spiffy three-year old cat.

Here it is, Chili Crab a la Angelina.

Ingredients: (to serve 2)
2 large crabs, cleaned and cut into two

The bigger the crab, the better. I usually pick the female ones, hoping that there'll be crab roe as well.

3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 inch piece of ginger, sliced finely
2 shallots, sliced finely

The prepared garlic, ginger and shallots.

1 large brown onion, sliced into rings

Brown onion rings.

1 bunch fresh coriander, cleaned and cut into 2-inch length
1 bunch spring onions, cleaned and cut into 2-inch length

The spring onions and fresh coriander are from our garden.

4 tablespoonful chili paste, from about 20 dry chilies
2 tablespoonful cooking oil
1 tablespoonful tamarind paste
1 teaspoonful salt
1 tablespoonful brown sugar
1 egg
1 small can of tomato paste

Tomato paste is the secret ingredient in my "sambal".

OK, now that we've prepared all the ingredients, let's start cooking.

1. Heat a large wok, pour cooking oil once it's heated through.
2. Saute garlic, ginger and shallot in hot oil.
3. Add in chili paste, mix and cook through.
4. Add tamarind paste, tomato paste, salt and sugar. Mix and cook through.

Tomato paste helps me achieve the red and menacing look of the gravy without adding too much heat if more chili paste had been used.

5. Add in the crabs and brown onion.

Brown onion has a natural sweet taste that adds to the yumminess of the dish.

6. Mix thoroughly. I had to use two spatulas for the job.

Each piece of crab should be coated with the gravy.

7. Let the gravy simmer for a bit and check if crabs are cooked through.
8. Break an egg into the gravy, mix through. The egg helps thicken the gravy.
9. Plonk in the fresh coriander and spring onion, remove wok from heat.

Add egg, coriander and spring onion just before serving.

Phew! That was a good exercise in the kitchen for me. But it's a labour of love for you, Pak Mat. Let's have dinner now. served with white rice.

I've also cooked some mix vege as the side dish.

Peaches and plums for dessert.

After dinner, a breath of fresh air at the balcony. Too bad there's no full moon tonight......or else it will be purrrfect for us.

It's a pleasure having you over for dinner, Pak Mat. Happy memories to bring home to Bachok, I hope. purrr....meow!


NanaDJ said...

Why Pak Mat, what about the Aunties and Kakaks especially your Yummy Mummy Datin Mamasita! Only this morning I saw Chef Dato Wan cooking Chilli Crab on Asia Food Channel. So now I have two versions of Chilli Crab to try.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty NanaDJ,
Angelina has a mission. To teach the uncles cooking! teeheehee...have given the assignment to cook for the Aunties and Kakaks to Brad. Aunties and Kakaks don't merajuk lor! Your turn(s) will come....Brad's still attending Masterchef classes. purrr...meow!

Unknown said..., my dear cat..words failed me..and, of course, it takes a female cat to detect the underlying mood of pakmat's blog..:)and savouring cili a la Angelina crab is one way of getting over it..and will get the missus try out the recipe.. added with a pinch love..:)Ayam would love it, too...cheers and thanks..

Pi Bani said...

The wok looks bigger than you. How did you avoid getting cooked along with the crab? ;)

mamasita said...

O I see..only for Pak Mat eh??

NanaDJ..shall we request from Angie some super dish even Chef Wan tak tahu masak??
Biar Angie pengsan masak for us..

p.s. actually, actually I jealous bluffing only..I'm allergic to crabs!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Abe Mat,
You're welcome. Anytime you need comfort, just tell me, OK? No need to give subtle hints via your blog. In any relationship, communication is important. Oh dear, I sound like a Guru Kaunseling now...teeheehee... purrrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Pi,
The wok is actually very small. Looks big here because it's a close up. *gulp* purrrr....meow!

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Yummy Mummy,
Kalau Angelina pengsan, macam mana nak masak? I know what you like one but ingredient hard to get over here. Kena special order from Queensland!
You're allergic to crab? What about other seafood? Itulah, tak baik jealous jealous tau! purrr....meow!

sherry said...


I suka ketam. Tapi bila ada chili tu terus terkedu jadinya. Masaklah ketam masak lemak kuning tanpa cili pulak ok.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Alahai Aunty Sherry...takut sangat dengan cili. I read somewhere that chilies have an enzyme that will trigger your happy hormones when you consume it. Scientifically proven. But maybe crab in salted egg sauce for you? Promise, no chili. purrr.....meow!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

What a lovely kitty you are, Angelina! Pak Mat kenyang hari ni. The chili crabs look delicious, but sayangnya I'm vegetarian now and can't sample it. Bet it smells great too. Drive the neighbours crazy with the mouthwatering smell, ha ha. You look so cute and plump sitting there on the balcony after your meal. Can I squeeze you?

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Hmmmm....auwww....that tickles CO78...I prefer stomach rub and tickling than squeeze.... teeheehee...
But you can eat the side dish, it's got tofu and mix vegie...yummy too. Actually, just the other day I was making a pumpkin dish and thinking of you at the same time. Do you like pumpkin? purrr....meow!

Cheqna said...

a la la la...angie...when's this "kakak's" Na turn?..that sayur looks very yummy...

your Aunty Sherry doesnt like chillies ke?..its my fav..i like d triggering of happy hormones part! hehehe...

looking frwrd 2 ur next recipe!


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Cheqna sayang...sabor-lah... Rumah Angie kecik, tak boleh jemput ramai-ramai sekali 'arung. Lagi pulak kan, kena romantic dinner tu one-to-one, tak gitu? purrr...meow!