Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vegetarian Fish with “Chilli Crab” Sauce

East Coast Chilli Crab is the word-famous dish that put Singapore on the culinary map. Till now, I still have not found a vegetarian/vegan version of it at any of the vegetarian eateries. My last tasting of this dish was more than 15 years ago, I almost forgotten the taste. Yesterday, I cook it which was my first try, I think it is almost there – sweet and spicy. I could not find a good substitute for the crab, so I used vegetarian fish slices. I still believe that young jackfruits, those unripe ones will make a good substitution but I don’t know where to get them.

Oh yeah, I added tomatoes puree to replace the usage of corn starch. Egg is omitted for a vegan version. I cannot remember whether the chilli crab sauce thick or thin. Therefore, I didn’t add any water in the recipe. If you find that it is too thick, just add some water or stock a little bit at a time to get the desired consistency, before you turn off the heat. It is better to mince or finely chopped the garlic, ginger and chilli rather than blended (I blended it, so you can't see little lumpy garlic, ginger and chilli in the picture). Don’t forget the hot buns which is crispy outside and fluffy inside that you can use to mop up the sauce with.

Preparation: 15 mins, Cooking time: 10 mins

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
° 2-4 slices vegetarian fish, pan-fried or bake or not at all
° 1 tablespoon oil
° few sprigs fresh coriander or spring onion, for garnish

Sauce
° 25g ginger, finely minced or blended
° 15g-20g garlic, finely minced or blended
° 2 red chilli padi or 1-2 red chilli, seeded and finely minced or blended
° 100g tomatoes (weight after peeling), peeled and blended
° 1½ tablespoons chilli sauce, or to taste
° 3 tablespoons tomatoes sauce
° 1 tablespoon salted soybean paste
° 1 tablespoon cooking rice wine
° 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
° pepper to taste

Method
1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add in the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry till fragrant.
2. Add in the salted soy bean paste and stir-fry for a moment. Stir in the tomatoes puree, chilli sauce, tomatoes sauce, cooking rice wine, sugar and pepper.
3. Bring to a boil. If the sauce is too thick, add in some water or stock. Throw in the vegetarian fish slices.
4. Dish up, garnish with coriander and serve immediately.

11 comments:

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

Hi Veggie Bun

Maybe, next round when i cook this, i am going to mince the garlic, ginger and chilli and add water. Then i take a picture of it and post it.

Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, I really miss this sauce. Yes hor, I didn't recall seeing any vegetarian chilli crab dish so far.
Wld it taste as good without garlic? Anything to replace the egg white in the real version? Would have thought that's what made the original sauce fragnant. Maybe can use the vegetarian crab stick & shred it to have similar impact:P
Cheers for another Great dish :-)

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

Hi Anonymous

Egg white is difficult to replace unless it is used for thickening.

Garlic, you can omit it. Usually the ginger and garlic used in seafood is to mask the 'fishy' smell. The sauce should be ok, as i used the combination of chilli sauce and tomatoes sauce for few dishes.

Vegetarian Crab Stick can be used if desired. Only problem it has to be of great amount to replace the crab. :)

Cheers :)

Veggie Bun said...

Wow! That's so nice, I can almost imagine how it taste like.. hahaha.. thanks a lot! Too bad I am too busy to try now. Will try as soon as I have some free time! thanks!!!

Oh, for eggs, it seems that Mai Zhi Su made some lumpy-egg-textured stuff in the Yuan Yang rice. And if I am not wrong MZS does not serve any eggs.. So.. could that be the solution for vegetarian mock eggs?

Veggie Bun said...

oh yeah, if only there's some deep fried mantou to dip into the chili crab sauce will be perfect! haha..
Maybe I should make this during the CNY holidays.. hahaha.. I hope my skills are half as good as yours.

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

Thanks Veggie Bun, What must go MZS to check out their 'Egg'.

So far, i can only think of tofu as crumble egg, or use in egg fried egg. Using crushed Beancurd sheet (like the dessert) to re-create the egg-like effect. But not the taste, still can't ...

Give it a try, if you have the time and mood. It is not difficult, because I am not a chef, just a normal housewife, so everything i do is simplified :p
Just adjust the ingredients to your liking. :)

Veggie Bun said...

Next time I go to MZS, I will ask them whether they use eggs.. Who knows those "egg-like-lumps" may actually be real eggs. Hahaha...

Rashmi said...

Hi Crystal,

your blog is really cool !

you can find young jackfruit sold fresh at vegetable vendors along Buffalo road. try the corner one next to little india mrt.

Rashmi

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

Hi Rashmi

Thank you so much :) I will look for it when i next go the Little India. That's great.

Cheers :)

Anonymous said...

wow nice blog.

Bali Tour said...

Wow.. awesome..!
Thank you for the recipe
i need to try it at home :)

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