Monday, July 14, 2014

Extra Large Flower Crabs from NTUC (Simple Steam Recipe)

I just gotta have my big flower crabs because I simply miss the fresh sweet taste... Ever since I stop doing crabbing in Singapore because of lack of good crabbing spots, I turned to NTUC... Luckily, Bukit Panjang Plaza NTUC sometimes has surprises during the flower crab season and this time I chanced upon some very large male and female flower crabs on sale at $12/kg. These were not live and were covered with shaved ice... but no matter because they were fairly fresh (for flower crabs standards) and they were super meaty at an average of 800g a crab!

Extra large sizes!

The females were huge too!
I bought about 10 big crabs and went home to prepare simple ingredients for a quick steam. Since these crabs are already dead and chilled, quickly cook them as soon as possible... If you are not planning to cook them today, simply chuck them in the freezer. I clean crabs myself so I had no trouble preparing them for the steam! If you do not know how to clean crabs... here's how...

How to gut and clean flower (swimmer) crabs
1) If it's not dead, simply stick a knife into the belly
2) Remove the head by pulling it off.
3) Remove the crab gills by pulling them off by hand
4) Brush the dirt/grime/mud off the crab shells
5) Give the crab some water to bathe with and you're all ready!

Here's the recipe for my simple steamed flower crabs... for a portion of 2 x 800 flower crabs
1) Chop 2 x chilli
2) Chop about 8 strips of ginger
3) Chop half a clove garlic
4) Mix the garnish up with 2 tbsp Hua Teow Chiew (Chinese Wine), 2 tbsp. light soy sauce, 2 tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tbsp. salt
5) Pour the seasoning over the crabs
6) Depending on the fire, steam for about 10-15 mins

Prepare them for steaming

Remember to ensure the water is boiling before putting them in

They're all done!
Craving for some extra large flower crabs?

My favourite portion of crabs... the body "drumstick" area!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Live Flower Crab Delivery from Ah Hua Kelong

In the past, I used to frequent Changi Offshores and Boat-fishing. This would mean I had a lot of opportunity to interact with local fishermen and kelong owners. We would pass by kelong owners who were setting out nets and would sell their catches to us for a good quickie price. This was how I came to know about Live Wild Flower Crabs and their awesome freshness/sweetness that no other crabs can provide!
A previous cheap buy of live flower crabs from fishermen
We used to buy them from local fishermen and netters at $4-$6 per kg and this was very cheap considering these were freshly caught (still alive!). The netters would sometimes throw in mantis and tiger prawns for free out of good will! The main benefit of eating wild flower crabs is that the meat is not mushy but very firm. The meat is also very sweet and appetizing! Compare this to market crabs from NTUC or even wet market and it is a NO CONTEST! Crabs bought at markets often spend hours inside ice or can even be the previous day's catches. Till this day, I believe that inferior quality flower crabs are one of the reasons that Singaporeans prefer mud crabs to flower crabs. Personally, I would still go with a freshly caught giant flower crab any day!

Imagine one day when I found out Ah Hua Kelong sells these live flower crabs and even provides home delivery! At $30/kg, it was slightly pricey since you can get big ones from the tank at Sheng Siong or markets at roughly the same price. But like I said, we pay the premium for the work done to harvest these crabs by hand.

When Ah Hua's crabs finally arrived, I was surprised that it was so professionally packed with date of catch and so on. The crabs were even still alive! Which is a sign that it was just caught. The sizes were not big but medium sized and still good for eating although I was hoping for something bigger. This was because compared to market, these live flower crabs are probably caught from estuary or inshore spots with not so deep water. This sounds legit as it matches the area of Pasir Ris sea. For bigger flower crabs, you would have to head to offshore areas like Labrador park coastal areas.

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Still live!

Keeping them in some salt - water!

Anyway back to the crabs, I was very satisfied with the freshness - live wild flower crabs can't go wrong! Preparation would be standard way - light soy, Chinese wine, chilli, ginger and steam... Woohoo!

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