I had no intentions whatsoever to buy crabs at the Saturday market last week. But, I was rather taken aback when the fishmongers there were continuously screaming that the price of fish and other seafood had gone down. It had been spiraling upwards since before the fasting month. The price of crabs was RM30 per kilo then, but last Saturday it went down to RM19 per kilo. I bought two kilos!
Not only were the crabs cheap, they were fresh too! No traces of chemical odour just the smell of the sea. Anyway at the price that was offered, my kids could enjoy the crustacean to their hearts content. As usual, I only picked at the sauce and since we've (me actually!) had enough sweet and sour crabs, I thought I'd give this recipe a try.
- 2 kilos crabs, cleaned
- 5 lemongrass sliced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 4 shallots
- 1 thumb-size ginger
- 3 candlenuts
- 20 dried chilies
- 1 onion, sliced into rings
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tbs sugar
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Salt and white pepper for seasoning
Season the crabs with turmeric and salt and fry until cooked. Dish out and set aside. Leave about six tablespoons of the oil in the wok.
Place the lemongrass, garlic, shallots, ginger, candlenuts and dried chilies into a blender and blitz until a fine paste. Saute the paste until aromatic in the oil used to fry the crabs. Season well with salt, sugar and white pepper then mix in the fried crabs. Just before turning off the heat, drizzle in the lime juice, mix everything well and dish out.
Note : There is always a small portion of the lemongrass that you don't use when you want to ground lemongrass. This bit that you don't use can be bruised and sauteed along with the spices at the beginning of the cooking stage.