Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Glorious Seafood: Crabs

These are Helen and Phil's catches.
Yummy! Yummy! Yummy!  Even the dog is salivating. Helen didn't say how she cooked them, . I hope she just didn't boil them and eat them like the Caucasians do. I suppose this is one way of eating them unadulterated and you get to taste the pure crab meat. But coming from Sarawak, we can't eat anything without chilli.
Grace cooks the best Chilli Crab. She eats a lot at the WU CHOW PAI or No sign board that she knows how to cooky analyzing the dish. She is so clever like Mum. Sam loves Chilli crab after eating Grace's crab. She also cooks butter crab and black pepper crab. I copied a little from her recipes when I went to Kuching when Dad was still alive. Everyone ohhed and ahhed.
We have a funny anecdote. We were at 7A nanyan View in Singapore. Grace brought some crabs, and one of them tried to escape the pot by jumping three storeys down the building. When Grace went to clean the crabs, she couldn't find them. She went downstairs and found the crab surviving the fall. Grace usually buys the expensive Sri Lanka crabs.
Reminscing about crabs gives me a tinge of sadness. It was the summer of 1986 when I visited Mum in Australia. Joseph took me to the fisherman's wharf and I bought a couple of the biggest crabs they had. I can't remember if I cooked, or Mum cooked. As usual, when ever I have crab for dinner, I rehash the giant crab my Aunty Teresa bought for me at the San francisco Fisherman wharf. That was the last crab meal I had with Mum.
just cooked them in a pot of salted water: Helen
I want to go Ahhhhhhhh! What a waste would the Singaporean say.
How to tell if the crabs is female or male? The man at the fishing supplies said the crab turned red when cooked!!!!

Male has a narrow flap under the buttock underneath while female has a bigger flap: Margaret
That flap on the belly that Margaret is talking about, the males' is a sharper triangle and the female is more fatter or more circular: Grace
Now, we eat soft shell crabs deep fried: Elizabeth
It is better to buy female ones as you can eat the roe. There is something about eating crabs during full moon. Dad tells us that crabs during full moon are fatter and therefore more delicious. On Lunar Mid August festival, people like to eat crabs. Many people believe that a full moon yields larger catches of soft crabs. This belief is reinforced by the fact that most commercial harvesters claim to see an increase in peeler/soft crab abundance before and after a full moon.

I think Joseph could add to this. He bought some crab pods to catch the crabs along the river near Charles' house at Midgera Street. Father would go and check on the catch, I think the cages were stolen.

When I was at uni and Helen came to visit me, Helen bought us a crab each and we ate at the park. They were already boiled. Those were the best crabs. Grace.

When Dad was working in Sarikei, some one gave him some crab pods.He used smelly rotten fish as bait. He put the pods at Nyelong river near to his office. When I came back during the weekend, I never saw any crabs from those pods. Grace,Helen, Henry and Joseph might know because they were living at home.

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