Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Braised Crab with Glass noodles (crab sotanghon)

I think the Philippines has the tastiest crabs around. If you haven't tried it... you should! Its WAAAY better than the hyped Alaskan king crab (the huge ones )-- you know, the one that even has a TV show (deadliest catch)-- hahaha.

I was really curious about the hyped alaskan crab and got my chance to try one when we went to Las Vegas-- the capital of over indulgence. (you can buy coffee by the PITCHER at dunkin donuts!!!) Everywhere you turn you run into buffets.. I was recommended to the one at Bellagio and me and my hubby went there to try it. VERDICT? Well, first all, they serve it cold with a side of butter.. (ugh!). It was quite tasteless. Here, we eat them plain since they are very sweet and tasty by themselves. I also tried Australian crab (quite pricey) and they were like the Alaskan crab-- tasteless. So I think it is better to save your money and buy a local mud crab and cook it yourself.

This is one of my favorite styles of cooking the crab. The other being Singaporean Chili Crab. (yummy!)

You can also cook this using prawns (if you don't have crabs). One thing about mud crabs is, (for those who don't know) you have to kill them. This means, it has to be ALIVE before you cook them. A dead crab is no good to cook. It already has a smell to it and it will taste awful.

I am lucky that I married a man who knows his way around the (wet) market. My husband can tell if the crab is fat or not. Also, I am not very good in KILLING the crab. You have to chop it up and clean it. ( there is a method to it) I usually have him do it for me. I just COOK the crab... (hahahaha).. I think I need to post a tutorial on how to pick and dress crab. (next time)

So, hungry yet? here's what you'll need.

Seasoned flour (1 cup flour with salt and pepper tossed in)-- for crab
350 grams prawn or 1 kilo cleaned crab (chopped into pieces)
3 tbps cron oil
3 tbps sesame oil
1/2 cup shallots (small red oinion)
5 slices ginger
1/2 cup garlic (whole)
2 stalks leek (sliced)
50 grams kutchay (garlic chives)
1/2 cup oyster sauce
1/2 cup gin
1 tsp chicken powder
salt pepper to taste
1 cup soup stock
150 grams sotanghon noodles (glass noodles)

1. If you're cooking crab: take the pcs of crab and coat with seasoned flour. Fry in hot oil till it changes color (we need to pre fry the crab to make sure it is cooked...the flour also helps keep the roe in the shell together.... if using prawns, you can omit this step). Drain on strainer or paper towels. Set aside.

2. In a pan, heat oil and saute garlic, ginger, shallots till fragrant. add the leeks and sesame oil. Add the crab/ prawn. Then add the oyster sauce, gin, chicken powder and soup stock. Mix well. taste. adjust salt if needed.

3. Add the noodles and toss to coat. simmer till the noodles are done. add more stock if the dish looks dry and the noodles are not yet ready. Make sure the noodles are relatively even in color when you toss. Do not add too much stock (you kind of eyeball it to see if it is too wet/dry and adjust)

4. when done, add the kutchay tips and sesame oil and put into serving platter.

TIP: if using prawns, you can take them out when you put in the noodles so that they won't over cook. you can just put them back in when the noodles are done.

This is one of my "specialties" and I really love it when the roe of the female crab gets into the noodles. One of the things we cook for Chinese New Year.

I'll post on crab buying soon!

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