Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Something Fishy going on in your kitchen - Delicious SeaFood Recipes

Singapore is a great place to be when it comes to food. There is lots of variety available since it is a hot spot for many different cultures such as the Chinese, Malays, Indians, and many others.

Seafood is one of my favourite ingredient especially prawns, crabs and squids. Since my husband and two son only eat fish and do not try any other variety, I don't get to try out all those yummy seafood dishes as much as I would like. Usually, only when I have a get together, I have the excuse to make seafood dishes as well as the normal mutton and chicken dishes.

Here are some of my favourite Seafood dishes as well as some of the more famous seafood dishes of Singapore.

Chili Crab

Ingredients :

2 Fresh crabs approximately 500 g each
1/2 cup Plain flour
1/4 cup Cooking oil
1 medium Finely chopped onion
5 cm Fresh ginger finely grated
4 cloves Finely chopped garlic
5 Red chilies, finely chopped
2 cups Bottled tomato pasta sauce
1 cup Water
2 tablespoons Soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sweet chili sauce
1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Soft brown sugar

Method :
Wash the crabs well and scrub the shell.

Using a large cleaver, cut the crabs in half and rinse well under cold water, carefully removing the yellow gills or spongy parts.

Hit the legs and larger front nippers with the flat side of the cleaver to crack the shell. This is to make the eating process easier.

Lightly and carefully coat the shells with a little flour.

Heat about 2 tablespoons cooking oil in a large wok and cook 1 1/2 crab at a time, carefully turning and holding the crab in the hot oil until the shell just turns red.

Repeat with the remaining crab halves.

Add the remaining oil to the wok and cook the onion, ginger, garlic and chili for 5 minutes over medium heat and stirring regularly.

Add the tomato sauce, water, soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar and sugar. Bring to boil and cook for 15 minutes.

Return the crab to the wok and simmer, turning carefully in the sauce for 10 minutes or until the crab meat turns white.

Do not overcook.

Serve with steamed rice.

Fried Squid Sambal Recipe
(Sambal Goreng Sotong)

Ingredients : Serves 4-6

500 g Small squid
2 Onions, roughly chopped
2 cloves Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dried shrimp paste (belacan)
2 strips Lemon rind
5 Fresh red chilies
3 tablespoons Peanut oil
1/4 cup Tamarind liquid
2 teaspoons Palm sugar or substitute
1-2 teaspoons Paprika

Method :
Clean squid, discarding head, transparent spine and everything in the body cavity.

Reserve tentacles, cutting them off with a sharp knife just below the 'beak'.

With kitchen paper, rub off spotted skin of the squid.

Wash squid well, drain, then cut across into slices.

Put onion, garlic, belacan, lemon rind and chilies into container of electric blender and blend until smooth, adding some of the peanut oil to help the mixture down onto the blades.

In a wok or frying pan, heat remaining oil and add the blended mixture.

Stir and cook over medium heat until it is dark in color and the oil shows around the edges.

Add tamarind liquid, sugar and paprika and stir in the squid.

Cook uncovered, stirring until squid is cooked and mixture is thick and oily.

Serve with rice.

Note : In Malaysia, a higher proportion of red chilies would be used to give color to the dish, making use of paprika is not necessary.

Spiced Coconut Fish Recipe
(Ikan Kelapa)

Ingredients : Serves 4

500 g Fish fillets
1/2 cup Desiccated coconut
3/4 cup Hot water
1 clove Garlic
12 mm Fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground kencur (aromatic ginger)
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ground coriander
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 tablespoon Chopped fresh coriander leaves
Banana leaves
Aluminum foil

Method :
Wash, clean and scale fillets and cut into approximately 10 cm lengths.

Blend together, at high speed, the coconut, hot water, garlic, ginger, kencur, cumin, coriander, garam masala and salt until coconut is very finely ground.

Mix in lemon juice and coriander leaves.

Put equivalent of 1 fillet of fish on each piece of banana leaf placed on square of foil.

Spoon 2-3 teaspoons of coconut mixture on fish.

Wrap leaf over, make a parcel of foil, steam for 15 minutes.

Serve hot.

Fish Head Curry Recipe
(Gulai Kepala Ikan)

Ingredients :

1 (850g) Fish Head, cut into 2-4 pieces
2 tablespoons Desiccated coconut, roasted, pounded
3 tablespoons Oil
1 stalk Lemon grass, bruised
Coconut milk from 1 coconut
1 Pandanus leaf, torn, knotted
750 cc Coconut milk from 1 coconut
5 Carambolas, halves
10 Salam leaves or bay leaves as substitute
Lime juice and salt

Spices (ground)
10 Dried red chilies
1/2 tablespoon Chopped turmeric
1/2 tablespoon Chopped ginger
7 Shallots
3 cloves
1 tablespoon Coriander, roasted
1/2 teaspoon Cumin, roasted
1/4 teaspoon Aniseed, roasted
1 teaspoon Peppercorns, roasted
1 tablespoon Dried carambola

Method :
Rub the fish head with lime juice and salt, and let it stand for 1/2 hour.
Drain, then rub the fish head with pounded coconut.
Heat oil and sauté ground spices, lemon grass and pandanus leaf until fragrant, then add coconut milk.
Allow to simmer.
Add fish head and carambolas, and bring to the boil.
Stir from time to time, then add salam leaves.
Simmer until the fish is cooked and the gravy is a little oily.
Serve hot.
Note : If there are no dried carambolas available, use 1/2 teaspoon tamarind juice.

Milkfish with Mango and Shrimps Recipe
(Sepat Banang)

Ingredients :

1 (500g) Milkfish or other fish
200 g Shrimps (prawns), discard the head
1 (300g) Mango, peeled and cut into long strips
200 cc Coconut milk from 1/2 coconut
1-2 tablespoons Lime juice
25 g Basil leaves
Lime juice

Spices (ground)

5 Bird's eye chilies
4 Shallots, roasted, peeled
3 Candlenuts, roasted or fried

Salt and sugar or brown sugar

Method :
Clean and gut fish and remove scales, gills and fins.
Rub with lime juice and salt.
Wash and drain.
Squeeze the mango slices with salt until tender, then rinse and drain.
Grill the shrimps and fish over hot charcoal until cooked.
Combine ground spices, coconut milk, fish and shrimps with mango and lime juice.
Mix well.
Garnish with basil leaves.
Optional : Fish may also be served simply grilled, without the coconut milk sauce.

Singapore Noodles

1/4 pound thin rice stick noodles (rice vermicelli)
1 pound medium shrimp
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
2 carrots
2 green onions
3 teaspoons minced ginger
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon soft brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder (Vietnamese brands are good), or to taste

Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 15 - 20 minutes, or until they have softened. Drain the noodles in a colander. Prepare the remainder of the ingredients while the noodles are soaking.

Shell and devein the shrimp if needed.
Soak the shrimp in warm salted water for 5 minutes. Drain thoroughly.

Clean all the vegetables. Rinse and drain the mung bean sprouts. Cut the red bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and cut into thin strips. Shred the Napa cabbage. Peel the carrots and cut into thin slices. Cut the green onion into thin slices. Mince the ginger.

Prepare the sauce by whisking together the water or chicken broth with the brown sugar and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat the wok over medium-high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp. Stir-fry the shrimp until they turn pink. Remove from the wok.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the wok. When the oil is hot, add the curry powder. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the ginger and stir-fry until the ginger is aromatic. Stir-fry the vegetables, beginning with the carrot, then adding the red bell pepper, and the Napa cabbage. Stir in the bean sprouts. Stir-fry for about 20 seconds and then add the shrimp back into the pan with the noodles. Stir in the green onions.
Pour the sauce over, tossing the ingredients so that they are absorbed with the sauce. Add a bit more water or chicken broth if the mixture becomes too dry. Taste and adjust the seasoning , adding more sugar, salt, pepper or curry powder as desired. Cook until the sauce is absorbed. Serve hot.

Cucur Udang or Prawn fritters


150g plain flour
1/2 cup prawn - shelled & diced
1/2 cup beansprouts
1 onion - chopped
2 fresh chillies - chopped
1 spring onion - chopped
1/2 cup water
2 eggs - well beaten
15 medium prawns
salt & pepper to taste
oil for frying

To prepare:

In a bowl, beat eggs and water
Add salt and pepper to taste
In another bowl, add sift flour
Make a well in centre of flour and pour in egg mixture
Mix well
Add onion, fresh chillies, diced prawns and spring onion
In a wok, heat oil for deep frying
Fill laddle with batter, add some beansprouts and cover with a little bit of batter
Then top it with one unshelled prawn
Immerse laddle into hot oil and fry till batter becomes firm and separates from laddle
Continue frying till fritters are golden brown
Remove and repeat process until batter is finish
To serve

Cut cucur udang into bite size pieces
Optional: Pour peanut sauce over it

Clams with Chilli and Basil

10 to 12 small clams in shell (well scrubbed)
8 to 10 fresh basil leaves
2 tsp garlic (minced)
2 red chillies peppers (seeded, minced & split lengthwise)
120 ml chicken stock
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp hot chilli paste (or to taste)
30 ml vegetable oil

In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, light soya sauce and hot chilli paste and set aside
In a wok, add in oil and heat
Add in the clams, garlic and red chillies
Cook, stirring till all the clams begin to open
Add in the chicken stock mixture, stirl well and cover pan
Cook over low to medium heat for 2 mins
Add in fresh basil leaves and stir to mix
Place entire contents of pan in a warm, deep bowl
Serve warm with steamed white jasmine rice

TIP: Clams that do not open while in the cooking process should be discarded immediately. This is usually a sign that the clams gone bad. Do not overcook clams either as they will leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth.

Otak Otak or Spicy Fish Cakes
650 gm (1 1/2 lb) whole Spanish mackerel
3 tbs vegetable oil
2 coconuts, grated or (1 1/2 cups pure coconut cream from packets or cans)
One egg - lightly beaten
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
4 tbs sugar
8 kaffir lime leaves
Ingredietns for spice mix

4 candlenuts
20 dried chillies
40 gm galangal or 3 tsp powdered galangal
2 to 3cm fresh turmeric root or 3/4 tsp powdered turmeric
2 tablespoons crisp shallot flakes
1 stalk lemon grass
2 square inches by 3/4 inch thick piece of shrimp paste (belacan)
10 shallots
1 tbs toasted coriander seed powder

To prepare:

Fillet fish (or have the fishmonger do it for you)
Grind the meat finely in a food processor
Put into a large bowl
Wash candlenuts, cut off stalks of the dried chillies
Soak in warm water till softened for about 30 minutes, remove then drain
Cut off the skin of the galangal and turmeric root and peel shallots
Trim lemon grass
Cut all the spices into pieces
Pound or grind the first 7 ingredients of the spice mix till fine
Add the shallots last as a binding agent, then add the coriander powder
Squeeze the grated coconut for cream then strain to get the cream
Alternative: use one packet of coconut powder, adding enough water to make 1 cup (Or 1 1/2 cups processed coconut milk)
Heat wok, add oil, then add spice paste
Stir fry 5 minutes till oil exudes and the mixture is fragrant
Remove central vein of the double-leafed kaffir lime leaf and slice very finely
Mix the spices with the minced fish meat, salt and sugar
Add the kaffir lime leaves
Grease an 8-inch cake tin and put the fish mixture in
Smoothen the top with the back of a grease spoon
Bake in a bain marie (loaf tin) in a pre-heated oven at 150-175 degree C (300-350 degree F) for 20-25 minutes till skewer comes out clean when it is put into the centre of the fish cake
Serve either hot or cold with plain white rice
Makes about 4 to 6 servings.


Nadine said...

Great recipes! I especially love the crab cake one!

srivalli said...

wow..so many...all of them look interesting!

JMom said...

wow, all my favorite recipes in one place! Thanks for sharing the recipes :)