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Posts Tagged ‘seafood’

I got some precooked Jonah crab claws at Safeway when it was on sale. Instead of dipping the crab meat in clarified butter or cooking it Malaysian buttery curry style, I decide to try something new~~ Singapore black pepper style! I did a very last minute recipe search online and used this recipefor reference.

OMG it was so good! For the mount of the crab claws I used, I think I put a bit too much peppercorns(on top of 4 red hot peppers in it)… It was VERY peppery and spicy, and yet I just couldn’t help licking the sauce on the shells, on my fingers (yes, it requires all ten fingers!). Now I have another delicious crab recipe on file :-). Next time I will try the recipe with fresh Dungeness crabs instead of pre cooked crab claws; I’m sure the flavor will get even better.

Black Pepper Crabs 黑椒炒蟹

Black Pepper Crabs 黑椒炒蟹

Black Pepper Crabs Recipe (adapted from here, serves 4 people)

Ingredients:
3 lbs precooked Jonah crab claws– see note below
4 slices fresh ginger– cut into thin strips
2 cloves garlic– minced
4 small red hot pepper– chopped
6-8 fresh curry leaves
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter

Spices mix (combined together and grind fine, but not super fine):
1 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 tbsp white peppercorns
1/4 tsp coriander seeds

Sauce mix (mix well to dissolve sugar, set aside):
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp ketchap manis– see note below
4 tbsp hot water

Method:

  1. Make a few cracks on each claws if they are not cracked previously. Pat dry with a paper towel. If you prepare ahead of time, place cracked claws in bowl/container lined with paper towel. Cover and chill in the fridge. Bring to room temperature when you are ready to cook.
  2. Heat up a wok on high heat. Add oil, butter, ginger, garlic, red hot pepper and curry leaves. Fry until butter melts and the flavor comes out. Add crab claws and stir fry for a minute.
  3. Add in ground spices, stir to distribute evenly. Cook for another minute or until crab claws are heated through.
  4. Add in sauce mix, stir a few more times. Add a few more tbsp of hot water if you prefer more sauce. Dish out. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • Crab claws: I used precooked crab claws this time because that was what I had at that time. However, I don’t suggest using frozen precooked crabs/crab claws as they usually taste nothing like crab– salty, tasteless, rubbery etc. I got lucky is time as my frozen precooked Jonah crab claws still tasted like crab. Fresh live crabs are the BEST for this recipe because of its fresh seafood flavor. If fresh crabs are used in this recipe, cut crabs into chunks, then follow the steps and cook crabs until it is just cooked through. Then add in sauce mix, stir for a few times before dishing out.
  • Ketchap manis: This can be found in Asian grocery stores, in South East Asia food section. It is a thick morsel sauce, black in color and tastes sweet (‘ketchap manis’ means sweet sauce in Malay/Indonesian)

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I got some lobster tails from Safeway when they were selling at $5 each a while back. I used some in making seafood linguine, and here are the leftovers. Originally I wanted to make buttery lobsters in dry style (meaning more like a saute version instead of a gravy version), but I just don’t know what to do with that little can of evaporated milk leftover… so, I decided the very last minutes to pour it all in. The lobsters still taste delicious, but just not the way I want to present. Oh well, there is always next time…

Buttery Lobsters

Buttery Lobsters

Buttery Lobsters Recipe:

Ingredients:
3 lobster tails (about 2-in wide, 6-inch long for each tail)
1 stalk fresh curry leaves– remove stalk and chop the leaves
3 cloves garlic– chopped
4 tbsp butter
2 tsp curry powder– use good one
1 tsp cayenne chili  powder
1/2– 1 tsp salt
2-3 tsp sugar
1 small can (5 fl oz) evaporated milk

Method:

  1. Rinse lobster tails. Cut into bite size pieces, with shell intacted. Pat dry.
  2. Melt butter in a wok over medium heat. Add curry leaves, garlic, curry powder and chili powder. Saute until aromatic. Add in lobster meat. Stir until the shells turns red.
  3. Add in evaporated milk, salt and sugar. Stir until the lobster meat is just cooked. Serve immediately. The extra sauce is very good with steam rice. For a dry version, use only a few tbsp of evaporated milk instead of the whole can.

Regina’s Note:

  • For a dry version of buttery lobsters/prawns: saute all the spice until aromatic, add in lobsters/shrimps. Cook until the seafood is half cooked, add in 1-3  tbsp of milk/evaporated milk, continue cooking until the seafood is just cooked thru.
  • You can also use milk instead of evaporated milk.

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I love mussels cooked with garlic and white wine, but since Richard and I are both not wine drinkers we usually don’t stock wines in our house. And I don’t want to purposely buy a bottle of white wine for cooking the mussels, and then have the leftover wine sitting in our fridge for two plus weeks. So, this is what I came up with (well, not really as I saw more and more restaurants making mussels dishes using curry flavor)– mussels in light curry broth. All I did was just adding some curry powder. Nothing fancy about the curry powder I used. Different brand of curry powder brings out different curry flavor, so choose your favorite brand. Back to the mussels– the curry flavor was not spicy at all; it added a nice touch to the taste and not overwhelming. Serve the mussels with pastas, breads or garlic toasts/croutons, and don’t forget to dip the broth!

Mussels in Light Curry Broth

Mussels in Light Curry Broth

Mussels in Light Curry Broth Recipe (serves 2-3 peoples)

Ingredients:
2 lbs fresh mussels– wash and clean, pull off the beards if there’s any
3 cloves garlic– finely chopped
1 cup hot water
1-2 tsp curry powder– adjust to taste
salt to taste

Method:

  1. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a deep frying pan or pot. Saute garlic over high heat until aromatic but not brown.
  2. Add in mussels and water. Give it a few stir and cover with a lid until the mussels are just cooked (I used hot water and it took me about a minute for the mussels to open up and cooked). Stir around so the mussels on the top are cooked too.
  3. Add curry powder and salt to taste. Stir to blend in seasoning. Serve immediately with pasta/bread/toasts/croutons.

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Crab season is here again. If you are tired of same old steam/boil crab, or the deep fry, saute version, try this buttery crab– it is finger licking good especially the sauce! This recipe requires very few ingredients, one of the must have is curry leaves. If you can get curry leaves I strongly recommend you to give this recipe a try.

Creamy Buttery Crab

Creamy Buttery Crab

Creamy Buttery Crab Recipe (original recipe from Rasa Malaysia— ingredients written in black is original version, with my modification written in blue)

Ingredients:

2 lbs. mud crab (dungeness crab or stone crab is a great substitute)— I use 2 Dungeness crabs, about 2 lb each
1 1/2 cup evaporated milk— I use 1 small can
1 stick butter— will try to cut down to 3/4 stick next time
1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 stalks curry leaves (you can get the curry leaves at Indian grocery stores)
5 bird’s eye chilies (lightly pounded)
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped (I add garlic for more flavor)
10 Chinese buns (mantou/馒头)— I served it with steam rice instead of buns

Method:

  1. Clean the crab and cut into pieces. Use paper towels to pat dry the crab. If serving with buns, deep-frying the Chinese buns or mantou to golden brown and set aside. Lay them over paper towels to soak up excess oil. Mix the corn starch with water and set aside.
  2. Heat up a wok to medium heat. Melt the butter in the wok before adding the curry leaves, garlic and bird’s eyes chilies. As soon as you smell the aroma from the curry leaves and bird’s eye chilies, add in the crab and stir continuously until the crab starts to turn color.
  3. Add the evaporated milk and cover the wok and turn the heat to low. Simmer for about 5 minutes, add salt and sugar to taste, then add in corn starch to thicken the creamy butter sauce. Dish out and serve immediately with buns or steam rice.

Note: I tried the recipe using jumbo prawns/tiger prawns instead of crabs, the result is good too but lack of the fresh seafood sweetness as with crabs.

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This is a very hearty dish and you can put in any kind of seafood that you like– as long as they are fresh. I usually use combination of some big prawns, fish, scallops and some fresh shellfish like mussels, clams or oysters (packed in jar)– a little of each kind and you’ll have a big pot. Although this dish is best cooked before serving but it is quite easy to make. With this economic downturn we’re in  now, why spend money ordering it from restaurant when you can make it at home? Serve it with some focaccia bread and you’ll have an Italian dinner. Give it a try… I guarantee you’ll be pleased with the results.

Seafood Linguine

Seafood Linguine

Seafood Linguine Recipe (serve 4-6)

Ingredients:
8-10 jumbo prawns
6 u-12 sea scallops
1 lb salmon fillet or any white fish- skin and bone off
15 mussels/clams (or 6 fresh oysters- packed in jar)
1 can diced tomatoes (stewed with garlic, oregano)
1 container of marinara sauce
2-3 cloves garlic- finely chopped
chili flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. Prepare the seafood: take off shells and veins of the prawns. Cut scallops in 1/2 or 1/3. Cut the fish in bib chunks (about 1-inch cubes). Wash the shellfish and remove any beards (if you’re using mussels). If you’re using oysters, rinse through and remove any small pieces of shells.
  2. Heat up a pot or deep frying pan and pour some olive oil. Add in chopped garlic and chili flakes (optional) saute until aroma comes out. Take care not to burn the garlic. Add in canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add in shellfish and arrange them on a single layer, covered and cook until the shells open. Do not overcook or they will get tough. Once the shellfish are cooked, take them out and put on a plate but keep the sauce in the pot/pan.
  3. Next cook the prawns and arrange in single layers, covered and cook until prawns just cooked. Take the prawns out and repeat the step with scallops.
  4. Lastly, add in fish and cover with lid until just cooked. Add in marinara sauce and bring all the cooked seafood back to the pan. Toss gently to coat the sauce and dish out. Scoop the seafood over cooked linguine and serve immediately.

Note:

  • Use good quality fresh seafood as it is the soul of this dish. You can choose any kind of seafood but use at least 1 kind of shellfish as it will bring out the flavor of the sea. Also take care not to overcook all seafood– they are expensive you know! 🙂
  • Each type of seafood has different cooking time. This is why they are cooked separately on single layer to ensure they are evenly cooked and not overcooked.
  • Don’t cut the fish into small chunks as the flesh is easily breaking apart after cooking. Same reason being why the fish is the very last seafood to cook and gently toss when all other seafood are added in later.
  • I usually don’t have any herbs in stock so I used canned stewed tomatoes with herbs in it, but if you have any then you can use original flavor. Also, since the canned tomatoes and marinara sauce has salt in it so I skip all seasoning– the sauce is very flavorful already after cooking all kinds of seafood.

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