Cutting Up Crabs

With an invitation, Ziv and I went to the Appreciation Dinner Party at the Wanda Vista Dongguan Hotel in the middle of July. It was a nice event and we sat at the table with the hotel general manager Fuat. Toward the end of the event, Fuat invited us to go to the lobby restaurant to continue our talk over a bottle of red wine. We took the opportunity to walk around the buffet table, where we found a variety of culinary options. I tried a few new items that I hadn’t seen before.

During the planning of the September issue, the Wanda Vista Dongguan experience came back to me when we wanted to confirm a candidate for Billy in the Kitchen. Fuat and the head chef Alan quickly agreed to the idea. Alan and I discussed what we should make, since there are a few restaurants with different themes inside the hotel.

When the Singapore chili crab was brought up, it was a tough one to reject. Alan mentioned that this is a very famous dish in Southeast Asia, and it is not too difficult to make. He said the most difficult part is preparing the crab, because many people at home have no idea how to do that.

In reality, it is not as tough as it seems. With Alan’s instructions, I am confident I can prepare it at home.

The feedback from Alan after making the dish was that it could have had a bit more tomato sauce and should have been a little more sour.

Make it Yourself

Prepare the Crab:

  1. Turn the crab upside down and make a cut in the middle of the rear (like an eclipse shape).
  2. With the knife, hold the legs on one side and pull the main top shell out on the same side.
  3. Cut the main body into smaller pieces.

Prepare the Dish:

  1. Heat oil to 280C (wait until the oil sizzling sound is gone).
  2. Put the crab pieces in flour, deep fry for 2 minutes and set aside.
  3. With a bit of oil in a wok, add 2 tablespoons of shallots, 1 tablespoon of garlic, 1 tablespoon of ginger, 3 tablespoons of chilis and 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce and mix together.
  4. Add 2 bowls of chicken soup to the mixture and heat it until it’s boiling.
  5. Add the crab pieces to the wok and let it cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add ½ tablespoon of chili sauce, 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon of tabasco and 3 teaspoons of sugar to the wok and cook for one minute.
  7. Take the crab pieces out and leave the sauce in the wok.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch water to the sauce and 3 egg yolks and heat it.
  9. Put the crab pieces back in the sauce and make sure the sauce is surrounding the crab pieces.