Sweet & Sour Crab
Sweet & sour has to be one of my favourite ways of cooking in Chinese cuisine. I just think it is such a good combination that, well, most seafood goes really well with. I do have soft spot for sour food, not so much of a sweet tooth. So, when comes to making easy and quick Chinese food, sweet & sour is always a winner. I have previously made prawns in chilli sauce & ketchup, which pretty much resembles this sweet & sour crab recipe that I will be sharing today.
I choose to use crab this time. There are many types of crabs that are available but, for this recipe, it goes extremely well with blue swimmer crabs. Also known as flower crabs, they are widely available in eastern Africa, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Just a few weeks ago, we woke up extremely early as we decided to make a trip to Billingsgate Market – a wholesale fish market in London, to source for the best and freshest seafood available. At 5am, there were already so many people buying lots of fish and seafood, which I believe most of the purchases were for restaurants. We were shopping around and I saw some beautiful blue swimmer crabs at one of the stalls. I got really excited and without thinking much, I grabbed a few big ones and paid for my purchase.
In my mind, I knew I was going to make this sweet & sour dish that mom has always been making at home. It is one of those dishes that I ate when I was young. I remember I could just eat this over a bowl of warm boiled rice and nothing else. Yes, it is that good! Looking at the photo now, I really want to eat more! Perhaps, I should get more next time!
If you can’t get blue swimmer crabs, you can also opt for brown crabs. Mud crabs are as well, however, might be difficult to get, depending on where you live.
For the Sweet & Sour Crab:
1kg blue swimmer crabs
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1cm ginger, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 spring onions, cut into 5cm lengthwise
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp chilli sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1. Rise the crab and place it on a clean work surface with the abdominal facing up. Using the tip of a sharp knife, stab into the centre of the crab slightly above the flap and below its eye. Repeat this for all the crabs and wait for 10 minutes. Pull off the triangular bony flap and discard. With the shell on its back and the eyes of the crab on the opposite, using two thumbs, pressing and pushing firmly under the rear end to lift the body off the shell. Discard the shell.
2. Remove the stomach bag and the spongy gills along each side of the body. Rinse well and pat dry. Pull off the two front claws from the body. Using a pestle or cleaver, slightly crack the shell of each claw. This is to ease the process of eating. Using a cleaver or a huge-bladed knife, cut the crab into quarters.
3. Heat the sunflower oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the ginger, onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the crabs, stir to mix with other ingredients. Put the lid on and let steam for about 10 minutes or until the crabs turn into bright orange.
4. Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Add to the wok, stir and toss to make sure everything gets well coated with the sauce. Bring to the boil for a few seconds. Then, lower the heat and put the lid back on for further 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.
YUM, looks so good! Woah, 5am! Very dedicated 😛
yes it was really early but I managed to drag myself out of the bed.. hehe
This is so good! It’s easier to get fresh dungeness crab all year long, but swimmer crab is only available fresh when it’s summer.
Love the photos dear, 2nd photo especially! So sexaayy!
Meloves sweet and sour dishes too. ALL of it. Pork, fish, prawn, and Thr list goes on and on and on. :p
thanks dear! I also love sweet & sour a lot!
Those crabs are so pretty! A lovely recipe.
Once started, I believe it is hard to stop eating this. Worth the early trip : ).
Yes, it is though to stop once started.. hehe
Love the Papa crab, Mama crab and Baby crab mugshot ;D My favourite way to cook and eat ketam… yum yum yum…
Worth the trip… but 5am? I’ll be hugging my bolster 😉
Yeah this is really one of my favourite way.. sometimes, I don’t even need to eat the rice but just the crabs.. hehe
Mmm I love crab (one of the reasons it would be touch for me to actually go vegetarian). Love the sweet sour flavors and awesome clicks, Leemei!
Thanks Xiaolu.. 😉
Wo, those uncooked crabs look so pretty. Interesting name…swimmer crab!I have never eaten sweet and sour crab. I love sweet and sour prawns though. I guess using crabs would be just as delicious….mmmm
Thank you! Give this a try 😉
This is my faves dish to order whenever I dine out at a Chinese restaurant. Now I can totally make this at home. Thanks for the recipe!
This is so finger licking good. At times,I enjoy my meal to slowly savor those crabs.
Yeah.. I also love to slowly savor my crabs.. when there is a big bowl in front of me..
Ooooh, I love this blue swimmers crab. It’s called “chik” in Hokkien. My mom used to make this a lot. I love the color and shape of this crab. Can’t find it here in the US, boo. 🙁
Yeah it’s called ‘chik’! Oh, can you get frozen one at Oriental supermarket? I definitely ‘chik’ than ‘jim’.
Thank you for visiting my blog, and now, I could find this amazing blog!! Yey! I love South East Asian cuisine and your recipes are amazing. The beautiful photos make me hungry too : )
It’s great to know your blog too!
My hubby and I are big fan of crabs. Yours looks very mouth-watering! How I wish I can cook the crabs so well as you! Beautiful clicks too!
LK, yeah I am a big big fan of crabs.. I am probably the quickest person eating crabs at home.. LOL
Yummie, crabs…I love your recipe for crabs…have yet to cook at home. Beautiful pictures 🙂
Have a wonderful week!
Thanks Juliana.. I miss eating crabs so much that I tend to get so excited when I got some!
your crab is calling my name!! yummy!!
Hehehe.. Thanks Lesley..
always love this ketchup-chilli sauce. I use this to stir fry prawns too. Hungry now.
I love it with stir fry prawns too!
It’s so good. This sweet and sour crab is on my must-try list.
We can get blue crabs in the US but not blue SWIMMER crabs! :O…Are these crabs “meaty”? Love the aspect of sweet and sour too – this flavor combination seems to work well with crabs, prawns, fish, chicken and pork!
Yeah pretty meaty and you are so right that this goes well with crabs, prawns, fish, chicken and pork!
Beautiful pictures of crab, Leemei. And I have to say that I am loving your plates. I have the same exact colors with cracks and all which I use for prepping food all the time because of their lightness and easy to clean. Maybe my plates need to be upgraded into plating food, instead of just prepping ingredients 🙂
Thanks Jun. I love the plates too and I think yours will be even better with cracks that will give a rustic look!
Oh I love sweet and sour crab – the flavours are just amazing! I must admit I don’t eat it as much as I would like though, just because I’m lazy (so much effort to crush and peel everything)… hehe.
Love that photo of the raw crabs, looks stunning!
Thanks Su-yin. I know that it’s quite a hassle to crush and peel..but I think I love it so much that I don’t mind… hehe
ohhh i absolutely adore how you styled the crabs for the photoshoot! 😀
Thanks you 😉
I haven’t had crab in oh so long…you’ve awakened a hunger!
hehe, I haven’t had them for a long time too.. and that put a small on my face.
I am new in your blog. YOu have such a beautiful space and gorgeous picture and mouthwatering recipe. I love crab meat any time 🙂
Thank you for dropping by! Stay tuned for more 😉
I agree with other posters great photography and the recipe sounds delicious!
Thanks! Give it a try!