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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Category / Seafood

A few weeks ago my colleague Joyceanne came out of nowhere and told me she was going to give me some live crab and if I was going to be able to bring them home on my motorcycle. Well, since you don’t get opportunities like this very often, with the help of her friend Kaiqi, who actually supplied the crabs all the way from Johor, we loaded 3 live mud crabs into my backpack. Thank you Joyce & Kaiqi!

The crustaceans took a ride of their lifetime, and arrived safe and sound at home just in time for Haze and I to decide that butter crab is in the menu of the night.

first, you have to do the dirty job by killing the crabs
first, you have to do the dirty job by killing the crabs

For the muslims who may not want to consume mud crab, flower crab can be used in replacement with this cooking method as well.

Here’s the pretty simple recipe we found online for butter crab, originally shared on Rasa Malaysia.

The ingredients to serve 2-3 person:

  • 3 live mud crabs (or flower crabs)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch as thickening agent
  • 6-12 chili padi
  • 2-3 stalks of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)

 melt butter, add chilli padi and curry leave before the crabs
melt butter, add chilli padi and curry leave before the crabs

The trickiest part of this recipe turned out to be .. killing the crab!

For those of you who has a heart made of steel, just go ahead and rip apart the crab’s shell alive and that’ll do the trick. We ended up using a chopstick and drove into the belly of the crabs, which also effectively killed the crab after about 10-15 minutes.

add evaporated milk and simmer for about 5 minutes
add evaporated milk and simmer for about 5 minutes

Anyway, here’s the cooking instructions:

  • clean and kill the crabs, then cut in halves and remove gills after removing shells, use pestle to pre-crack the crab claws for easier consumption
  • heat up wok with medium heat and melt butter
  • add chilli padi and curry leaves
  • when aroma is released, add crab and stir until the shells turn red
  • add evaporated milk and cover to simmer for about 5 minutes
  • add cornstarch (pre-mixed with water) and stir for a minute to thicken sauce before serving

here it is, creamy butter crab, goes well with some fried buns
here it is, creamy butter crab, goes well with some fried buns

And here you go, the butter crab turned out rather delicious. You can enjoy this dish with some fried buns or with rice/noodle, or basically anything.

Now you know what to do with live crabs! Check out other recipes by yours truly by clicking on the KY Cooks category. :)

A couple weekends ago I had an epiphany. I had garupa fish fillet in the fridge, and a pack of curry powder, so why not put them together and see what happens, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you – fried fish fillet with curry powder.

cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying
cover the fish with a layer of curry powder before frying

This dish is so easy to make you could  do it in kemahiran hidup and not mess it up.

Ingredients:

  • fish fillet (any type of fish)
  • curry powder
  • salt
  • cooking oil for frying
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • petai (optional)

some garlic and petai for garnish
some garlic and petai for garnish

Cooking instructions:

  • apply salt and curry powder to fish fillet (must be dry)
  • fry fish in medium heat for 7-10 mins each side depending on thickness
  • separately, fry chopped garlic to golden brown
  • fry petai for 2 mintues
  • serve while hot!

fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic
fried curry fish fillet with petai and garlic

So there you go, a simple recipe anyone can try. Fried curry fish fillet with petai. For more simple home-cook recipes, check the KY cooks section.

It’s going to be the year of Horse in a few more days, and like so many Chinese families, reunion dinner is on the menu. So are you going to just watch your mom prepare everything? or are you going to be contributing at the kitchen and come up with at least a dish like a good filial son or daughter should?

Well, if you’re the latter and lacks in the finer skills in front of the stove, here’s a simple lala recipe you can follow that just might make your mom proud.

ingredients are lala, garlic, ginger, chili padi
ingredients are lala, garlic, ginger, chili padi

This is a lala (or any clams) dish with garlic, ginger, and chili padi. Takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, and is also one of the cheapest seafood dishes you can come up with especially during CNY season.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 big bowl of lala/clams
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, stripes
  • 6-10 chili padi, chopped
  • 5 tablespoon cooking oil

fry till the shells are opened, wise to steam it a bit too
fry till the shells are opened, wise to steam it a bit too

cooking instructions:

  • soak lala/clam in salt water for 30 minutes, rinse
  • heat up cooking oil and fry ginger & garlic till fragrant
  • add in lala/clam
  • add chili padi
  • fry till all shellfish are opened, you can use a lid to cover the pot for steaming effect
  • ready to serve

lala with chili padi and garlic
lala with chili padi and garlic

This is a rather simple and fail proof dish, you can also spice it up by adding some Chinese cooking wine or soup stock to give it a more fragrant flavor.

Click for simple recipes from yours truly, and Happy CNY.

One of the activities we participated in while at The Datai Langkawi (see blog post) was a fun session on cooking conducted by the two chefs who are specialized in Thai cuisine at the beautiful hotel.

The session took place at the Thai Pavilion, a semi-open air restaurant that’s built on stilts and situated by the main swimming pool.

learning some tricks from the chef
learning some tricks from the chef

Here are the two recipes you might fine useful to add to your cooking repertoire.

Our first dish was goong phad keemao, or fried drunken prawn. While the name might suggest that this dish involves alcohol, it actually wasn’t the case. Here goes:

Ingredients:

  • prawn (250 gram)
  • fresh cili padi (8 gram)
  • onion (20 gram)
  • tomatoes (20 gram)
  • galangal (20 gram)
  • lemongrass (10 gram)
  • cooking oil (30 ml)
  • garlic (10 gram)
  • kaffir lime leaf (2 gram)
  • thai basil leaf (5 gram)
  • oyster sauce (30ml)
  • fish sauce (15ml)
  • pepper powder to taste

the drunken prawn doesn't use any alcohol, halal version
the drunken prawn doesn’t use any alcohol, halal version

Cooking instructions:

  • heat oil in wok, then add garlic, chili, onion, and stir together
  • add prawn, galangal, lemongrass, pepper, stir till prawn is half cooked
  • add oyster sauce, kaffir lime leaf
  • add chicken stock (or plain water if you don’t have chicken stock) and Thai sweet basil
  • adjust saltiness with fish sauce
  • serve while hot

you can cook the tomyam in either clear or "red" version
you can cook the tomyam in either clear or “red” version

Next is arguably the most famous Thai dish of all time – tomyam gai. We made the chicken version here, but you can substitute with prawn, squid, or other seafood as well.

Ingredients:

  • chicken breast sliced (60 gram)
  • galangal (10 gram)
  • lemongrass (10 gram)
  • kafir lime leaf (5 gram)
  • abalone mushroom (20 gram)
  • tomyam paste (10 gram)
  • fish sauce (10 ml)
  • lime juice (10 ml)
  • chicken stock (150 gram)
  • coriander leaf (5 gram)

Haze, KY, and WeiZhi showcasing our dishes
Haze, KY, and WeiZhi showcasing our dishes at The Datai Langkawi

Cooking Instruction:

  • boil chicken stock with galangal, lemongrass and tomyam paste in small pot (leave out tomyam paste if you want clear version)
  • let the ingredients reduce a little, then add chicken, abalone mushroom, and kaffir lime leaf
  • let cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • season with fish sauce and lime juice
  • add coriander leaf before serving

After the cooking session, we sat down and had our dishes with some steamed rice. There was also some Thai dessert and white wine to complete the course. It was pretty fun and now I do think I should slot in cooking classes whenever I travel to other places. These recipes are pretty easy to follow, I’m pretty sure I’ll make them at home.

Datai was such an awesome experience, I miss it already.

Most of my raw seafood are sourced from mom, who works at a wet market in Penang. She’d pack them frozen in layers of newspaper so that they remain as such during the journey back to KL. The interesting part is, I usually never really know what I’m getting.

So the latest shipment includes squid, one of my favorite seafood, but also one that I have little experience in preparing. I scouted around the internet a little bit and came up with this recipe of deep fried butter squid, an inspiration from several sources, and some personal preference in taste.

end result: deep fried butter squid, yum yum
home made deep fried butter squid, yum yum

This dish takes a little longer and more steps than most my other recipes, but the end result turned out pretty good, definitely worth the effort and it’ll be something that I shall make again.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoon rice flour
  • 3 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • squid (300-500 gram)
  • 1 inch ginger
  • half a bulb of garlic (you can have more)
  • 2 red/green chili
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • vegetable oil for deep frying

ingredients - squid, flour, egg
ingredients – squid, flour, egg

cooking instruction 1 (deep frying):

  • mix rice flour, corn flour, and black pepper in a bowl
  • beat an egg in another
  • clean squid, you can cut them in rings for bigger squid, remember to remove eyes and beak too
  • dip squid into egg, then flour mix, then deep fry till just a shade before the desired golden brown color
  • set a side these fried squid
cooking instruction 2 (final stage):
  • cut ginger and garlic into slices
  • split red/green chili down the middle and remove seeds
  • heat up a tablespoon of vegetable oil, then fry garlic, ginger, and chili till fragrant
  • add butter, then squid
  • fry for another 1-2 minutes
  • viola, it’s done!

a simple two phase cooking procedure
just a simple two phase cooking procedure

What I really like about this dish is the infusion of butter into the crunchy layer of the squid as well as the fried garlic/ginger. The chili adds a different dimension as well as giving the dish a little bit of a kick. Fresher squid would yield an even better result in my case, but overall the turned out was better than expected.

Check out my other recipes too if you like these style of cooking. Bon appetite!