Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Sour Crab Wrapped In Artisan Bread

I was informed by Ping of  Ping's Picking that my blog Elinluv's Tidbits Corner was one of the 65 blogs picked and featured in InTrend  Malay magazine March issue is an honor  to be featured in the malay magazine  :))  You can read more about it from Babe In The City blog . Congrats to all the other blogs featured in the March 2012  issue...sorry for the digress....okay back to the crab cuisine....:p

After having savored this crab cuisine which was served wrapped in a bread loaf , I attempted to replicate it with much success to my utmost delight.  Sweet Sour Crab wrapped in bread parcel !  The one served at the restaurant was yummy good but the fact that the bread was deep fried in hot oil deters me from frequent indulgence.   I decided to make my own sweet sour crab wrapped in artisan bread instead,  for I find artisan bread suitable for this heavenly crab cuisine. Thank you Ronnie and Kitty for introducing us to this dish and after which I was inspired to replicate it :)

Piggy Jo was home last weekend , I sprang a surprise on her and served her this finger licking good sweet sour crab wrapped in artisan bread....I wished I had taken a snapshot of her expression !  :p  My artisan bread turned out great with a crispy crust and soft interior . I really have to thank Peter Reinhart for his tips on how to make the crust... even Wild Boar loves this bread....dipping the bread into the flavorful crab scented sweet sour and chilli hot gravy...awwwww  it was truly finger licking good and the fiery taste set my tongue dancing !  

I managed to get some mud crabs from the central market @RM 22 a kilo, the lady selling the crabs advised me to get medium size for their shells are softer. How true, the shell was soft and easy for us to discard the shell when eating :))   I really thank my beloved Mom for teaching me how to prepare the live crabs for cooking and it was my turn to show my Piggy how to ' kill ' a  live crab :p  The photos below are for drooling and to set your salivary glands into full action ! :PPP

I concocted my own sweet sour sauce -  Simple sauce yet heavenly delicious...YUMM YUMMY !
 Ingredients for the sauce:-

This amount of sauce is for 1 kg of crabs

1 cup of sour plum sauce ,
4 tbsp of fermented soy beans  (tau cheong ) ,
chilli paste - depends on how hot your tongue can take it :p
1/2 tbsp of chopped bird's eye chilli
1 tbsp of chopped parsley ,
1/2 cup of garlic paste ,
1/4 cup of white distilled vinegar ,
1 tbsp of caster sugar.

2.5 cups of water.
1 tbsp of corn starch - mix with  3 tbsp of water,
1 egg - beaten for thickening the sauce.

2 tbsp of cooking oil  * I used grapeseed oil

Mix all the ingredients together except water, cornstarch and egg . Heat oil in wok and saute the combined sauce till  fragrant.  Add in the prepared crabs and stir fry the crabs till covered in the paste , add in water and simmered till the crabs are cooked, add in thickening and the beaten egg. Add salt to taste if necessary.
Dish up and keep aside to cool.

Wrap the sweet sour crabs with 2 layers of parchment and  1 layer of aluminium foil- first layer is parchment paper, second layer - aluminium foil then the last layer - parchment paper....the aluminium foil is to make sure that if there is a leakage from the first layer, the gravy will not  seep through to the bread and make it soggy , and the last layer of parchment is to prevent the bread from sticking to the aluminium foil .  Wrap the sweet sour crab parcel  ( the opening facing top ) with the prepared artisan bread dough which can be prepared a day earlier.    Take the dough out from the fridge 1/2 hour before wrapping .

The dough recipe :- adapted from my newly acquired book - 
                             Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg,M.D and Zoe Francois

3 cups lukewarm water - temp about 100 F
1  1/2 tabsp  granulated yeast
1 1/2 tabsp kosher or other coarse salt * I used table salt
6 1/2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all purpose white flour, measured with the scoop and sweep method
Cornmeal for dusting

Method :- 
Add salt and yeast to the warm water. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a resealable lidded plastic food container , pour in the warm water mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a wet dough. Don't knead. It is not necessary. You are finished when everything is uniformly moist, without dry patches.  You will yield  a dough that is wet and loose enough to conform to the shape of its container.  Cover with a lid ( not airtight) that fits well to the container your are using.  Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse. approximately  2 hours. You can use any portion of the dough any time after this period.  Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next 14 days.  Maturation continues over 14 days . 

I make one recipe and it lasted me for more than a week. Each time, I want to bake bread, I just take out from the fridge , one grapefruit size dough ...that will take just 5 mins lol that is why this bread book is named Artisan bread in 5 mins a day. Wonderful book and I can have bread anytime of the day :))

 I put in the crabs first and the gravy last
so that the parchment wont get soft and tear :p 

I poured in the chilled gravy last and quickly
wrapped it up with the opening facing up

not easy to get the job done but with some patience
 I managed to get it done.....;p

it looks kind of a huge soccer ball ...LOL!
and luckily it fits in nicely in my oven.... :)

love the artisan look...crispy crust and soft interior

I dusted it with cornmeal flour and
whoa look how crispy the crust is
the trick is to spray mist of water on the surface 
of the bread as it is baking in the oven

 the fusion of  the two aromas...
the freshly baked bread and the crab scented
 sweet sour aroma...gosh is heaven food !

love this so much ....dunking the fresh crispy bread on the 
gravy...mmmmm I don't mind making this again even
though it entailed a bit of work :)))

I am sure Piggy Jo had a wonderful meal and
looking forward to her next trip home :))

the parchment paper 
holds the gravy well until  the last drop was 
SLURPP out..... :0

The Piggy clan had a wonderful meal that evening
and Piggy Jo had a satisfying one
coz she cant find this in her Uni town :p

*            *            *


  1. I can imagine the taste of this dish and dipping the crusty bread into the sauce must be heaven!!

  2. Wow! That looks really, really good! I've never tried anything baked in artisan bread before and now I'm tempted to try it :)

  3. Elin, Congratulations! I'm so proud of you :D
    Love the crabs inside the crusty bread. Looks very delicious!!

  4. Elin,
    1. what is the weight of your crabs you used in this recipe?
    From your photo, it looks like 3 medium size crabs? i'm going to cook this so i just want to know if the gravy recipe is enough.
    2. is granulated yeast the same as instant dry yeast?

    thks alot for your generous sharing
    May :)

  5. Gertrude...thanks for the congrats :)

    Nash Nordin...yea it is delicious beyond word heavenly :)

    Anncoo...thanks for the congrats :))

    May...there six size and it is 1 kilogram. Yes, it is the dry instant yeast and you are welcome to the recipe. to get the crust, spray water on the surface of the bread a few times during the baking process :)

  6. I miss this already ! I"m the luckiest girl :) hehehe. Thank u so much momma ! Missing home and everything it means so much !! hehe

  7. Oooooo....CONGRATULATIONS!!! Celebrity now, eh?

    This looks soooooo good! The gravy looks like that of Vietnamese prawns, superb for sipping bread and eating. Yummmmmm!!!!

  8. congratulations on your blog featuring!! you deserved it very well, friend! oh, so you started already on this book..sounds like the results are good. Yum, i'm liking the sweet sour crabs in your bread so much, nice nice!!

  9. Congratulation!

    Aiyo....dun wanna fren you are killing me softly with the pic...i can practically 'taste' the crabs and the sauce with the bread but cant eat..It look so perfectly done!

  10. Jo...I miss you too :) looking forward to the next meet up :)

    Arthur...thank you so much..nay not a celebrity...I am happy to be featured coz it is encouragement to do better..that's all :)))

    Lena...thanks Lena...the crabs is yummy whatmore the artisan bread. Yea, I have tried it and it is really good. Now can have artisan bread just taking them out of the magic container. The dough gets better as the day goes by...mature and the smell is truly artisan bread smell ...wonderful !

    Kathy...hahaha you can make them yourself...simple. Just get the dough done a day before...then everything is just easy.

  11. Congratulations Elin!
    This is way too yummy, wish i have some right now..I love crabs but I can't find mud crabs selling in the wet market here, even the pasar besar..

  12. Say, do you think this will fit into my mailbox?
    I've got to find a crab seller that'll kill the crabs for me ... I can't kill any live thingy (except insects)!
    This looks absolutely gourmet, Elin. I'm drooling all over my keyboard right now!

  13. Sonia...thanks :) that is what I heard...none can be found at your place :( We have plenty here at the Central market:) 2 stalls selling them everyday :)

    Ping....hahaha a soccer ball alright..and you should see my gal's eyes almost pop out and the mouth wide open when I took it out of the oven LOL! 1 kg of crabs in the bread :p

  14. Elin,
    1. What is the oven temp to bake the bread?
    2. How much raw dough did you use to wrap the 1kg crabs?
    3. How long is the baking time to bake this whole dough with crabs inside?

  15. May...sorry I left that part out :p
    1. Oven temp is 200C
    2. roughly half of the prepared dough or slightly more. Roll the dough out into a flat disc, enough to cover the parcel of cooked crabs. After wrapping it into a round ball. Leave to proof for 20 mins.
    3. Bake for 50 mins - spray or brush water on the dough surface during the baking process to get the crispy crust. It is ready when it is evenly brown and when you tap on the surface, you get the hollow sound.

  16. Elin, Congratulations! I'm proud of you to be one of the 65 blogs picked in InTrend magazine and also it's best 10 cooking categories :D

  17. Zainal.....terima kasih :)) featured saja, bukan best 10 LOL

  18. Congratulations, Elin!
    This dish looks extraordinary! I love crab so much, but it's horribly expensive here... and not so fresh.

  19. Sissi... thank you :) Crabs over here are not cheap too but we have the fresh ones of course. The sea crabs are cheaper than the mud crabs . I am sure you can get the canned ones :)

  20. Elin,

    My mouth is non-stop watering right now. Incredible recipes! Thanks for being a part of the YBR :)

  21. is my pleasure to be able to be a part of YBR :)

  22. congratulations to you Elin! So proud & happy for you, dear. And the crab just perfect for this special day. You make me salivate!


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