Steamy Kitchen Recipes | RSS Feed http://steamykitchen.com Steamy Kitchen Food Blog: fast recipes, simple recipes, with fresh ingredients to create delicious meals. Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:53:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Singapore Chili Crab http://steamykitchen.com/40175-singapore-chili-crab-recipe.html http://steamykitchen.com/40175-singapore-chili-crab-recipe.html#comments Tue, 28 Apr 2015 14:13:04 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=40175 What you’ll learn: Singapore Chili Crab is one of the most popular Asian crab dishes. Simmer crab in a thick, sweet, savory and spicy sauce. Simple authentic recipe, with a homemade Chili-Ginger Sauce that heightens the flavor Substitute jumbo-sized shrimp for the crab, if desired Recipe fromSoutheast Asia’s Best Recipes Cookbook by Wendy Hutton This famous Singapore Chili Crab has ...

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Singapore Chili Crab Recipe

What you’ll learn:

  • Singapore Chili Crab is one of the most popular Asian crab dishes. Simmer crab in a thick, sweet, savory and spicy sauce.
  • Simple authentic recipe, with a homemade Chili-Ginger Sauce that heightens the flavor
  • Substitute jumbo-sized shrimp for the crab, if desired
  • Recipe fromSoutheast Asia’s Best Recipes Cookbook by Wendy Hutton

This famous Singapore Chili Crab has been named a “national dish” of Singapore, and named #35 on the list of CNN’s list of “World’s 50 Best Foods.”

Fresh crab is simmered in a base of sweet chili sauce, fresh chilies, ginger, garlic and tomato sauce — it can be made as spicy as you wish! Another signature element of this dish is the delicate ribbons of egg to thicken and add body to the sauce.

This is a messy dish, to be eaten with a stack of napkins and crusty French bread or steamed Chinese buns to mop up all of the sauce.

Singapore Chili Crab RecipeThe recipe is from Southeast Asia’s Best Recipes Cookbook by Wendy Hutton, featuring the most popular and best-known recipes from Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and all across the region.

Hutton has spent more than four decades traveling and and eating her way through Asia, collecting the best recipes from simple country homes to elegant restaurant kitchens. In her signature, expert prose, Hutton explores the glorious splendor of Southeast Asia’s rich and varied cuisine, from Singapore’s fascinating cosmopolitan offerings to Thailand’s sinfully spicy dishes to Vietnam’s refreshingly healthful recipes. Hutton is based in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo.

Each of the authentic Southeast Asian recipes in this book is accompanied by a luscious color photograph shot by the award-winning photographer, Masano Kawana, who won a James Beard Award for Best Cookbook Photography for his Shunju: New Japanese Cuisine Cookbook.

What is Hot Bean Paste?

Chili bean sauce for singapore chili crab recipeChinese Hot Bean Paste or Chili Bean Sauce is made from fresh chilies and fermented broad (fava) beans and soy beans.

This Sichuan style sauce adds a spicy, salty, umami-rich flavor to any dish. A spoonful of the sauce into any Chinese noodle dish will spice it up! We also use a spoonful in Mapo Tofu as well.

Other names:
Hot Bean Paste
Broad Bean Paste
Chili Soy Bean Paste
Toban Djan
Dou Ban Jiang
辣豆瓣酱

You can find this Hot Bean Sauce in most Asian grocery stores and online. If you find “Bean Sauce” (basically, the sauce without the chilies, you can substitute 3 tablespoons + minced red chilies in this Singapore Chili Crab recipe. The Bean Sauce without the chilies is saltier, that’s why we decrease the amount used.

Recipes using Hot Bean Sauce

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Singapore Chili Crab Recipe

Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Singapore Chili Crab Recipe

Reprinted with Permission from Tuttle Publishing. Recipe from Southeast Asia's Best Recipes by Wendy Hutton. Photography by Masano Kawana.

If you do not have fresh crab, substitute with 1 1/2 pounds of jumbo shell-on shrimp -- but only cook for 5-7 minutes in Step 3.

In Singapore, mud crabs are used in this dish, but substitute with any fresh crab - my favorite is Dungeness or blue crab - though blue crab is so small, it may be difficult to tease out the meat if you're not accustomed to it! You can even use soft-shelled crab.

The perfect accompaniment to this Singapore Chili Crab Recipe is crusty French bread to mop up the sauce.

Ingredients:

3-4 pounds live crab
2 tablespoons oil
6 shallots, minced
6 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
3 red bird's eye chilies, minced
3 1/2 cups (875 ml) chicken stock
4 tablespoons hot bean paste
1/4 cup (60 ml) bottled chili sauce
1/2 cup (125ml) canned tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper (or black pepper)
2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 3 tablespoons water
2 eggs, lightly beatenFOR THE CHILI GINGER SAUCE:
6 red finger-length chilies, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon water

Directions:

1. Place the live crabs in the freezer for 15 minutes to immobilize them. Cut in half, lengthwise with a cleaver or large chef's knife and remove the back and discard the spongy grey matter. Take off the claws and crack in several places with a cleaver. Cut each body half into two to three pieces, leaving the legs attached.

2. Make the Chili-Ginger Sauce by whisking all the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-low heat and add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilies. Stir-fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes, then add the Chili-Ginger Sauce, chicken stock, hot bean paste, chili sauce, tomato sauce, sugar, rice wine, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the crab pieces and simmer, uncovered, turning several times, until the shells are bright red and the crabs are cooked, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir until the sauce thickens, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs and stir until set, then transfer the chili crab to a serving dish and serve with crusty bread.

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Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe http://steamykitchen.com/5068-hainanese-chicken-rice.html http://steamykitchen.com/5068-hainanese-chicken-rice.html#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2009 01:58:34 +0000 http://steamykitchen.com/?p=5068 Recipe with step by step photos for Hainanese Chicken Rice and soup.

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Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

What you’ll learn:

  • Choosing the right chicken for your Hainanese Chicken Rice
  • How to cook the perfect Hainanese Chicken
  • The best way to prepare Hainanese Rice
  • Preparing Chilli dipping sauce for Hainanese Chicken Rice

Hi there! Please welcome guest writer (and Steamy Kitchen intern) Jess from  Jess’s Many Mini Adventures in Food and Farming. She’s an amazing, passionate gal who loves food as much as I do. She’s here to share her family’s Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe.

-Jaden

Hey all,

Jess here, Steamy Kitchen’s new intern. That’s me chewing on a mango in my tiny kitchen preparing for a meal at Synergy Farm (a farm on an island!) where I intern at. I’m actually in my kitchen right now on my lunch break, looking out at the barn and the carrots in the north garden, IMG_2877munching on a quesadilla with beet greens and feeling amazed all over again at how I ended up here, on a farm, writing to all of you wonderful readers!

I’ve been here since late March, just after my 24th birthday. Before that, I was living in Cambodia helping girls get an education; before Cambodia, I was working at Google, and waaaaaay back before then (well not so long ago, actually) I ran an afterschool program in the bay area. I love adventure, and I love to consider the small ways I can change the world for the better, and over the past few years, I’ve become convinced that my way of making my world better is through food.

Growing up in Orange County, California, I never thought much about where my In-N-Out Burger or spicy tuna roll came from. Every since I was 4 years old perched on a kitchen stool, stirring up Betty Crocker, I’ve always been in love with food: cooking it, eating it, playing with it. I love cooking with friends; chopping veggies gives me a high like no other; but it was only recently that I’ve become fascinated with how our food is grown, processed and distributed to us and also how it affects our health, our environment and our communities. I figured it made sense to get down in the dirt and learn more about these issues firsthand, so I became an apprentice on a small organic farm in the beautiful San Juan Islands.

So what’s all this got to do with blogging? The food blogging community has been a way for me to connect with other people who think and care about food as much as I do. I’m completely inspired by all the amazing folks out there sharing their recipes and opinions and lives. Jaden’s agreed to transmit some of her samurai skills in cooking and food writing to me so I can join in the fun.

All this food love had to come from somewhere, and I tend to attribute a lot of it to good genes. My mum’s side of the family is Singaporean and I grew up in a whirlwind of popiah, freshly baked curry puffs, and beef rendang. Though I’m open to all kinds of cuisines, I hold a special place in my heart for a good plate of chili crab or chicken satay.

When I was small my family made many trips to my grandparents’ house back in Singapore. Early in the mornings, before it got unbearably hot, my grandpa would head down to the local hawker center (a food court with lots of different stalls) to pick up breakfast. He would come back to the house with a bag full of packets wrapped in banana leaves, still hot, shiny with oil, and intensely fragrant. We’d each carefully unwrap our packet, uncover the pieces of tender, perfectly steamed chicken on top of savory rice. We’d tuck in to the fragrant ginger-garlic-chickeny heaven, topped in our favorite combinations of magical sauces and eat till we were ready to face the sticky tropical day.

These days you can still find Hainanese chicken rice in hawker centers across the island for a couple of dollars a plate, and also in high-end restaurants serving up authentic cuisine. This is what a hawker center looks like — like a mall food court, only with mee goreng and peanut soup instead of Sbarro!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Singaporean Hawker

Hainanese Chicken Rice often called Singapore’s national dish. When I was a kid and my family would go back to visit Singapore, I had three loves: fried bananas, paratha, and chicken rice. When I was visiting family last November, it was one of the first things they took me to eat — the carcasses in the stall beckoned to me with the promise of super-fresh tender chicken — some things just don’t change.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Singaporean Hawker

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Authentic Singaporean Dish

Though Hainanese Chicken Rice gets its name from its origins in Hainan, China, it was really when overseas Chinese brought the dish to Singapore that it got a new personality and became famous.

According to my mom, this recipe is really only authentic when made with a “kampong” chicken, which means basically, a chicken from the village: the kind that roam around in the sun and eat whatever grubs and grass and scraps of rice are available. These kinds of chickens look pretty skinny by our standards, but they have an amazing flavor that I can only describe as “extremely chickeny.”

Here on the farm, we raise the closest equivalent to a “kampong” chicken that you’ll likely find in the US — not as scrawny, but pretty much as delicious. Our chickens are organically fed and pasture-raised, which means they get to spend their days outside, hanging out in the sun, roam in the grass, pecking at greens and grubs. We raise about 120 in each batch and they take about 8 weeks to go from chick to chicken rice. As my mentor, Farmer Susan likes to say, these chickens live a really really good life and then have one really bad day. They are ridiculously good just boiled plain in a pot of water and salted slightly.

IMG_2592

All that good care makes these chickens more pricey than your average bird and on a farmer’s salary, it’s tough to afford them, but thankfully in our chicken processing just a couple weeks ago, I was able to snag a couple of tiny 2-pounders that we wouldn’t be able to sell, that were just perfect for chicken rice.

Hello guys and gals, it’s Jaden back again – Jess gave me her recipe for Hainanese Chicken Rice and I made it to show you step by step instructions! It’s a multi-step recipe, with 4 components:

1) Chicken
2) Rice
3) Chili Dipping Sauce

oh yes, the soup too, but you don’t really have to do much other ladle into the bowls.

So, let’s start with the CHICKEN.

How to cook Hainanese Chicken

This is an organic supermarket chicken (I wish we were all as lucky as Jess to be able to have fresh chicken!) Here’s the deal about the chicken. You gotta buy the best. Because this Hainanese Chicken Rice dish is all about the pure taste of the chicken, you really want to go with organic. It’s worth the money for your health, the environment and taste buds.

When you buy a whole chicken and are cooking it skin-on, and ESPECIALLY if you’re steaming or poaching the thing, you want to make sure you get the “nasties” off.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

I’m sure by looking at this photo you know what I mean. What I’m after is smooth, unblemished skin.

So I give my guy a facial.

Yes, I’m totally serious!

I exfoliate my chicken.

Wow, I can’t believe I just confessed to you that I give my chickens a spa treatment. Please don’t think I’m strange! Please tell me that you do this too!??????

Start with a small handful of kosher salt. Regular table salt is too fine to use to exfoliate. Sea salt is too expensive. Just use kosher salt. Oh and even if you don’t have that loose skin on your chicken, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to exfoliate — there’s still hidden guck and yuck that is trapped in that chicken skin. TRUST ME. Your chicken will look and taste better this way.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Rub chicken with salt

Now RUB RUB RUB!!

Be gone wrinkles!

Be gone trapped guck!

Be gone dead skin! <- yes, I know that sounded ridiculous on so many levels.

Work those pores!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Rub chicken with salt

Rinse, pat dry and ta-da!!!

Glistening.

Glowing.

Soft.

Smooth.

Taut.

Chicken.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

Check those lovely pores.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

Season the inside and outside the chicken with salt and stuff the bird with ginger and green onions. Remember, you are not only seasoning the chicken, but also the poaching water too, so be generous with the salt. I generally double the amount of salt that I would normally use on a chicken. I’ll show you how much water we’re adding in a sec.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Stuff chicken with ginger and green onions

Put it in a big pot and fill with water to just cover by 1 inch. Note that some of the stuffing might fall out. Which is totally okay. Don’t worry.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Put chicken in big pot and fill with water

Bring that baby to a boil and then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. You’ll begin to see some of that scum. Now hey, if we didn’t exfoliate our chicken, I bet that scum would be a lot browner. I have a handy dandy scum skimmer. If you don’t have a scum skimmer, buy one, it’s only $2!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Boil chicken with stuffings

After simmering on the lowest heat (just enough for little tiny bubbles to break surface) and your chicken reaches the correct temp (take the chicken temperature at the thickest part of the thigh that’s not touching bone, it should read 170F). This is is done!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Boil chicken with stuffings

Prepare an ice bath and immediately lift the chicken out of the pot with 2 big slotted spoons or 2 big fat spatulas.

Here’s a tip. Don’t try to grab the chicken legs to pull the chicken out. You’ll end up tearing the skin and heh, maybe even tearing the drumsticks outta the chicken which results in you standing there holding two drumsticks and the rest of the chicken plopping back into the boiling hot broth which then splashes back on your arms and face. Speaking from experience, of course.

Oh, and don’t even THINK about pouring that clean, delicious broth down the sink! We’ll be using that to cook the rice, prepare the sauce and to drink as soup! So, remember, gently lift the chicken out from under and try not to disturb its delicate (and exfoliated!) skin.

My pot of ice water wasn’t big enough, but it worked, I just turned the chicken over a few times to make sure both sides were cooled. Why are we doing this, you ask!? Ha! I thought you’d never ask. Well let me tell ya. Plunging in an ice bath stops the cooking process immediately AND tightens the skin, making it springy and firm. The quality of the chicken skin is important in this dish! It’s all about the skin texture.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Plunge chicken in ice bath

See here? That’s your soup! Season with salt if necessary.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Step by step photos

How to cook Hainanese Rice

I use Jasmine rice, or long grained rice. Of course, feel free to sub with whatever rice you want, but I prefer Jasmine white rice. I’m using 2 cups of rice. Rinse the rice grains several times in water to get rid of excess starch and other rice cling-ons. Then let the rice soak in water for 10 minutes.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Drain the rice completely, as much as possible.

Grab a pot and saute the garlic and the ginger. Mmmm…can you smell that??

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Add the drained rice to the pot.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Fry the rice grains for a couple of minutes…this gives the rice SO much flavor! I like to add a bit of salt to the rice if the broth isn’t already salted.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Remember that broth? Well, pour 2 cups of this into the pot. Normally when cooking rice, I’d go with a ratio of 1 cup rice : 1.25 cups water/broth. But since we’ve already soaked the rice and the rice has absorbed some of the water, I’m going with 1:1. Bring the rice to a boil, then immediately turn the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest (still covered! no peeking!) for 5-10 more minutes. Done.

Oh, if you have a rice cooker, even better! After sauteing the garlic, ginger, rice – just add that into your rice cooker with the broth.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Perfect rice.

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Hainanese Rice

Chili Sauce for Hainanese Chicken Rice

If you’re a fan of sriracha chili sauce, this will knock your socks off. Jess puts sriracha, lime, sugar, salt, couple tablespoons of that lovely chicken broth, garlic and ginger into a blender and wheeeeeee:

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Chilli Sauce

Voila….Jess’s Hainanese Chicken Rice:

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe - Garnish with cucumber and cilantro

Enjoy!

Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

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Hainanese Chicken Rice Recipe

Servings: 6 Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour
hainanese-chicken-lg-691

While your chicken is cooking, it helps to prepare the ingredients for your chili sauce and rice. Both of these are usually assembled after the chicken is done because they require the chicken broth, but you can get started washing and soaking the rice, chopping the garlic and ginger before then. In this recipe, all of the poaching broth is reserved -- some is used in the rice, a small amount is used in the chili sauce, and the remainder is saved to be heated and served as a simple soup to accompany the chicken.

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (3.5 lbs, 1.8kg), preferably organic
kosher salt
4'' section of fresh ginger, in 1/4'' slices
2 stalks green onions, cut into 1" sections (both the green and white parts)
1 teaspoon sesame oilFOR THE RICE
2 tablespoon chicken fat or 2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1'' section of ginger, finely minced
2 cups long-grain uncooked rice, washed and soaked in cool water for 10 min or longer
2 cups reserved chicken poaching broth
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon kosher saltFOR THE CHILI SAUCE
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoon reserved chicken poaching broth
2 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoon sriracha chili sauce
4 cloves garlic
1'' ginger
a generous pinch of salt, to tasteFOR THE TABLE
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
Few sprigs cilantro
1 cucumber, thinly sliced or cut into bite-sized chunks

Directions:

1. To clean the chicken, with a small handful of kosher salt, rub the chicken all over, getting rid of any loose skin and dirt. Rinse chicken well, inside and outside. Season generously with salt inside and outside. Stuff the chicken with the ginger slices and the green onion. Place the chicken in a large stockpot and fill with cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then immediately turn the heat to low to keep a simmer. Cook for about 30 minutes more (less if you're using a smaller chicken). Check for doneness by sticking a chopstick into the flesh under the leg and see if the juices run clear or insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh not touching bone. It should read 170F.

2. When the chicken is cooked through, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the burner. Immediately lift and transfer the chicken into a bath of ice water to cool and discard the ginger and green onion. Don't forget to reserve the poaching broth for your rice, your sauce, and the accompanying soup. The quick cooling will stop the cooking process, keeping the meat soft and tender, and giving the skin a lovely firm texture.

3. To cook the rice: Drain the rice. In a wok or sauce pan (use a medium sauce pan if you plan on cooking the rice on the stove top), heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ginger and the garlic and fry until your kitchen smells like heaven. Be careful not to burn the aromatics! Add in your drained rice and stir to coat, cook for 2 minutes. Add the sesame oil, mix well.

To make the rice on the stove: In the same sauce pan, add 2 cups of your reserved poaching broth, add salt and bring to a boil. Immediately turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit (with lid still on) for 5-10 minutes more.

To cook rice in a rice cooker: Pour aromatics and rice (after frying) into your rice cooker, add 2 1/2 cups of your reserved poaching broth and salt. Follow the instructions for your model (usually this will just mean "turn it on!")

4. While your rice is cooking, remove the chicken from the ice bath and rub the outside of the chicken with the sesame oil. Carve the chicken for serving.

5. To make the chili sauce: Blend your chili sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth and bright red.

6. To make the soup: You should have six or seven cups of the reserved poaching broth left over to serve as soup. Just before serving, heat up the soup, taste and season with salt as necessary.

Serve the chicken rice with chili sauce, dark soy sauce, cucumber slices, and a bowl of hot broth garnished with cilantro or scallions

More Recipes to Explore:

Chinese Boiled Peanuts Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Chinese Spring Rolls with Chicken Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Aged Sriracha Hot Sauce Recipe (Steamy Kitchen)

Sichuan Red Oil Wontons (Rasa Malaysia)

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