Easy Malaysian Sweet And Sour Crab

Easy Malaysian Sweet And Sour Crab

Sweet and Sour – among other flavours such as salted egg, kam hiong, black pepper, chili, and butter – is a popular flavour for seafood dishes. While I love all of them, sweet and sour style holds a special place in my heart.

My parents used to frequent a seafood restaurant in Petaling Jaya which serves sweet and sour crab serve with toasted bread. While in restaurants we order mantau (Chinese steamed bun), at home we just dip this in regular white bread! We make this at home on special occasions or weekends.

My Mommy and I enjoying sweet and sour crabs after cooking together in the kitchen

Why is this style good for home-cooking?

Crab in itself is not an easy dish to cook at home. Firstly, the crab must be alive. The quality of the crab goes down quickly once it dies. So, never buy dead crabs. Secondly, you will need to know how to slaughter it and dismantle it properly.

Amongst all cooking style (besides steaming of course), sweet and sour style is the easiest. All the ingredients needed for the sauce is probably in the pantry of regular Malaysian household e.g shallot, garlic, ginger, dried chili and tomato sauce.

Digging into our sweet and sour crab (We over toasted the bread…)q

TOOLS

  • Wok + Lid + Spatula
  • Chopping board + knife
  • Chopstick and brush (to slaughter and clean crab)
  • Blender (to blend aromatics)

RECIPE CARD

Easy Malaysian Sweet & Sour Crab

2018-05-02
: 4
: High

By:

Ingredients
  • 1.2 kg (3 pcs) mud crabs
  • 1/2 cup Tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Plum sauce
  • 1 Egg, whisked
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 2 cups of Water

  • AROMATICS
  • 6 pieces Dried chilli
  • 300 g (15 pcs) shallots x 15
  • 1/2 bulb Garlic
  • 20 g (3 thumb size) Ginger

  • THICKENING SOLUTION
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp water

  • SEASONINGS
  • Fine sea salt
  • Sugar
  • Lime

  • OTHERS
  • Steae buns/ bread (optional)
Directions
  • Step 1 PREP:Soak dried chilli. Peel shallots, garlic, and ginger. Slaughter crab by poking the middle back of the body with a chopstick or knife. Dismantle crab into parts. Crack and whisk egg.
  • Step 2 BLEND AROMATICS: Blend shallot, garlic, ginger and dried chilli.
  • Step 3 FRY AROMATICS: Heat 4 tbsp of oil until it sizzles. Add aromatic and fry until fragrant.
  • Step 4 COOK SAUCE:. Add tomato sauce and plum sauce. Mix well. Then add water.
  • Step 5 COOK CRAB: Place crab body, claws, and legs. Arrange shells on top. Cover and cook until the crab just turn red (5 – 10 min)
  • Step 6 DISH OUR CRAB: Dish out crab into a serving plate.
  • Step 7 SEASON SAUCE: Season sauce with salt, sugar, and lime juice. Add cornstarch solution to thicken sauce. Then add eggs and mix sauce in a circular direction.
  • Step 8 SERVE: Pour some sauce over crab. Leave the remaining sauce in a bowl for dipping into bread.

SHORT RECIPE

Blend 6 Dried chilli + 15 shallots + 1/2 bulb garlic + 3 thumb-sized ginger. Fry until aromatic. Add 1/2 cup tomato sauce + 1/4 plum sauce and mix well. Add 2 cups of water. Cook crab for 5 – 10 minutes. Covered.

STEP-BY-STEP

1. PREP: Soak dried chilli. Peel shallots, garlic, and ginger.Slaughter crab by poking the middle back of the body with a chopstick or knife. Dismantle crab into parts. Crack and whisk egg.

2. BLEND AROMATICS: Blend shallot, garlic, ginger & dried chilli.

3. FRY AROMATICS: Heat 4 tbsp of oil until it sizzles. Add aromatic and fry until fragrant.

3. COOK SAUCE:. Add tomato sauce and plum sauce. Mix well. Then add water.

4. COOK CRAB: Place crab body, claws, and legs. Arrange shells on top. Cover and cook until the crab just turn red (5 – 10 minutes)

5. DISH OUR CRAB: Dish out crab into a serving plate.

6. THICKEN & SEASON SAUCE: Season sauce with salt, sugar, and lime juice. Add cornstarch solution to thicken sauce. Then add eggs and mix sauce in a circular direction.

8. SERVE: Pour some sauce over crab. Leave the remaining sauce in a bowl for dipping into bread.


COOKING TIPS

  1. If you can’t get mantau, just toast sliced bread. You can get frozen mantau from the frozen section in the supermarket. For convenience, my family toast sliced white bread. It’s easier to get than mantau.
  2. Buy live mud crab. Make sure you choose crabs with all their legs intact. Do not buy dead or ‘sleeping crab’. It is more than half the price for a reason. It’s no longer fresh; the flesh is soft and unappetising. 
  3. Add less water if you want less sauce. My family loves this dish with a lot of sauce to dip into bread. If you don’t, you can add less water. If so, adjust the thickening solution and seasonings accordingly.

Cooking crabs at home doesn’t have to be intimidating. Start with just three crabs. Make this simple sweet and sour sauce using spices that you already have at home (e.g ginger and dried chillies). After all the tussling with the crab’s claws, you can enjoy the sweet crustacean, toasty bread, and homemade sauce imbued with the taste of seafood…



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