Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When we visited Singapore last month, we were told we must try the chilli crabs and the black pepper crabs.

Our friend Danny, a native Singaporean, enthusiastically explained we must eat these crabs specifically at Jumbo Seafood in the East Coast Seafood Centre. When a native person tells you where to eat, you listen!
Diners enjoying lots of seafood at Jumbo Seafood in Singapore.
We hailed a taxi, ordered the crabs and drunken prawns, hammered away at our crabs and had a finger-licking-outrageously-messy good time! Even our taxi driver told us Jumbo Seafood was one of the best places to eat these crabs in Singapore.
Jumbo Seafood's Chilli Pepper Crabs
Gigantic crab claws dipped in the black pepper paste.
Now, I’ve tried Maryland’s Old Bay-style crabs several times, but these crabs were so different. I preferred the spicy black pepper crabs while hubby liked the chilli crabs best. Then we sopped up the yummy juices with steamed Asian buns.

Lucky for us, Jumbo Seafood sold take-away spice packets in the restaurant. We bought a box of each spice blend so we could whip up these tasty Asian crabs at home. (Unfortunately, it looks like the spice packets are only sold in the Singapore restaurants. Make friends with someone to get your own.) Since I’ve never seen crabs in Turkey, we decided to bring the spices with us to the U.S.

During our whirlwind driving tour on the East Coast, we stopped in Baltimore and bought 2 dozen Maryland crabs in Fells Point.
On Christmas Eve and Day, hubby and his brother steamed the crabs here in North Carolina. 
Great photo opp! But our nephew was like "do I have to?"
The crabs enjoyed a brief moment of freedom before they were dropped into the steamer basket.

Then, Jason proceeded to cook up the spice mixes on the stovetop. For the chilli pepper crabs, he mixed ketchup, soy sauce, two eggs, cornstarch and water with the spice blend while the black pepper mix only required chicken stock and soy sauce.
Chilli pepper Maryland crabs
Christmas Day - Hubby shows off his Singaporean-Maryland crabs.
As you can see, the crab mixture we made looks nearly identical to the crabs we enjoyed in Singapore. One major problem is the size of crabs we bought in Maryland – they were small. Eating these crabs was difficult because they were a lot of work for just a little bit of meat inside.

Unfortunately, Jason and I were the only ones who preserved at picking away at the crabs for awhile. The majority of the family tried a few of the crabs while others refused to try them at all. Raw and steamed oysters were the clear winner over our Singaporean-style crabs.

Sigh! Well, at least we tried to share some new flavors with our family members.

In Singapore, Jumbo Seafood Chilli and Black Pepper Paste retail packs are available at Jumbo Seafood Singapore restaurants located at East Coast Seafood Centre, Serangoon Gardens Country Club, Riverside Point, The Riverwalk, Singapore Indoor Stadium, NSRCC, Dempsey Hill and Singapore Food Festival Village at Clark Quay.

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jaz@octoberfarm said...

oh man..i would have eaten all of the ones your family passed on!!! they look soooo good. i am a bit of a crab addict!

Unknown said...

They look fantastic. I would have helped eat the leftovers the family passed on. Drooling..

Joy said...

The crabs were soooo tasty! I'd be happy to share. Then, we made a crab/mussel pasta the next night with leftover chilli pepper crab sauce. Yum!