Friday, July 20, 2012

Recipe: Steamed Moreton Bay Bug with fried garlic & chilli

Slowly compiling my culinary moments here. One of my recent meal, steamed flathead lobster aka Moreton Bay bug (as known in Australia). In Singapore it is called crayfish 虾婆 but that is a misidentification since actual crayfish means something else altogether from what I gathered.

This dish is one of my childhood favorite. The only way I like to eat it is steamed regardless of the other fried recipes out there. To me, if the seafood is fresh = alive and kicking when you purchased it, no point wasting good money to fry it. Frying is for less than fresh stuff or frozen stuff in my household.

Cooking this is so easy, almost kid's play.

Total Cooking time needed: 10mins.
Prep time: 10mins.

1. The bugs, in this case I bought 4.
2. Spring onion - 5-6stalks
3. Ginger.
4. 6 LARGE cloves of garlic -(coz I love fried garlic)
5. Sugar
6. Fish sauce - 2 teaspoon
7. Light soy sauce - 3 teaspoon.
8. Chinese rice wine - 1 tablespoon
9. Oil for frying garlic - 2 teaspoon. (Am using coconut oil. extra light olive oil is fine)
10. 1 chili - big or  2 small type really doesnt matter after they are deseeded and rinse.

Pre-cooking Steps:
1. Chopped the buggers into half or get the fishmonger to do it for you.
2. Washed out the veins and the nasty brain blob connected at the head if they are still there.
3. Optional: I like to use a toothbrush to give the shell a good scrub thorough. I think its good to clean the loose surface dirt away.
4. After rinse, pat dry with paper towel and line them flat on steam plate.

Garnish & sauce Prep Steps: (you can do this while the bugs are steaming)
1. Sliced then Chop the garlics into coarse bits.
2. Sliced then chop the deseeded chilli into coarse bits. (Make sure they are deseeded prior else it will be really spicy)
3. Heat oil and fry the garlic+ chilli mix until garlic is browned.
remove from oil and leave to cool on the side with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
4. Remove excess used frying oil from pot until about 1 teaspoon amount is left in the pot.
5. Mix soy sauce, fish sauce & 2 teaspoon of sugar into a small bowl.

Cooking Steps:
1. Slice ginger in 8 thin pieces. Lay them slice on top of the halves of the bugs.
2. Slice a few more thicker slices and randomly place them around the place. Basically ginger reduce any "fishness"
3. Take 2-3 thick stalks of the washed spring onion and roughly chop them into halves. We want the lower part with the bulb (root end). slice them into halves and lay them randomly onto the steam plate with the bugs.
4. Drizzle the chinese rice wine onto the bugs.
5. Steamed the bugs for 10 mins (over boiling water if using wok).
6. After the bugs are steamed, pour some of the "juice" from the steamed plate into the sauce mix.
Amount doesnt matter, its up to you but i normally use only 2-3 tablespoon worth. the rest discard.
7. Stir well the sauce and taste if its too salty, if it is, pour more water or add more sugar to taste.
8. When ready, pour sauce into the heated remaining oil in pot and quickly remove from heat when the sauce start to bubble. 
9. Drizzle the sauce over the bugs.
10. Garnish the bugs with the fried garlic and chilli.
11. Chopped 1 stalk of spring onion and garnish the dish. (optional)


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