Black Pepper Crabs and Prawns
This Singaporean classic is best eaten with your hands so have lots of napkins near by and tell your guests to have at it. The flavors in this dish are best served with cold beer and flavorful bread.
Makes 4 servings
4 small crabs in the shell (have your butcher clean them)
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1 1/2 pounds medium prawns, raw and peeled
2 ounces Talamanca black pepper, ready to grind, divided
1/3 cup salt-free butter
5 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 inch diameter piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon Alaea red sea salt
1/2 cup chopped green serrano chilies
1/2 cup dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
7 ounce bottle of oyster sauce
lemon wedges for garnish
Heat a large kettle of water. Slip crabs into boiling salted water to cook.
Heat a large skillet, add oil. When the oil is hot add prawns and 1 ounce freshly ground Talamanca black pepper. Turn in oil until red and fully cooked. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Remove any remaining oil in skillet with paper towel.
Place the skillet on medium high heat. Melt the butter just until sizzling then add the chopped garlic, ginger, red salt and chilies. Cook quickly turning the mix until garlic starts to soften. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 ounce coarsely ground black pepper, soy sauce, sugar and bottle of oyster sauce. Allow to heat through to low boil.
Return drained prawns to the skillet. Turn off heat. Lift boiled crabs from water into strainer to drain. Chop each crab in half on cutting board.
Place all four crabs top side up, legs outward on the platter. Spoon skillet mixture into the middle. Add lemon wedges for garnish. Have bread sliced on a cutting board and a bucket of beer on ice.
Each place setting should have bowls ready setting for the shells and a knife, crab cracker and picks.