Wednesday, August 25, 2010

When fusion food is a thing of neccesity-- Black Pepper Crayfish with Spaghetti

A foodie friend of mine from Australia sent me a message on Facebook today declaring that he wanted to eat Chicken Rice after watching a Singapore special on “No Reservations”. Oh and he wanted Laksa too!  Isn’t it just so wonderful when someone else in the world acknowledges the beautiful food your country has (or am I the only one who feels like this). Well most of us who have guests from overseas would take them to our favourite eating places in Singapore, not necessarily famous but it must be one of a kind. Have you ever thought about whether these raving guests would want to eat our delicacies everyday if they were to live in Singapore?

Sadly for Ryan, the answer was “no”. Ryan and I had such a wonderful time eating our way when he first came to Singapore. However this enthusiasm and spark for Char Kway Teow, Chilli Crab and Murtabak has now dropped to, “Honey can we have steamed veggies with pepper for dinner tomorrow, rice is optional.” I know plenty of Singaporeans who eat out everyday, but I think eating out gets slightly too jalat for Ryan after a while. At the same time, I get so sick of eating roasts, soups, salads and pastas all the time (I LOVE RICE). Our different cultures and diets have resulted in the birth of fusion food in our kitchen.

Before I started cooking for Ryan, my foray into fusion food was limited to Doc Cheng’s, one of my dad’s favourite restaurants. I always thought that place mystical with its chic d├ęcor and the strange concoctions they served! It always seemed elusive, excessive perhaps a little unnecessary. It is hence quite disconcerting for me that I have ventured into preparing fusion food because of necessity and practical reasons. One of these dishes we have “invented” is Black Pepper Crayfish served with Spaghetti! If you don’t feel squeamish about killing crabs you can try this with crabs. Family can’t decide if you want Western or Asian? Simply prepare this and you can have your cake and eat it!

This recipe yields 2 servings

1) 3 Crayfish (scrubbed clean and chopped in half)
2) 3 tablespoons of butter
3) 1 red chilli seeded and finely chopped (you can use more if you want it spicier)
4) 2 sprigs of curry leaves
5) 1tablespoon minced garlic
6) 1 tablespoon of minced onion
7) 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
8) 2 tablespoons of Hu Tiao Jiu (Chinese cooking wine)
9) 1 tablespoon of light soy sauce
10) 5 tablespoon water
11) 2 teaspoon of sugar
12) 1 tablespoon of blackpepper
13) 1 teaspoon cornflour
14) Cornflour for dusting Crayfish
15) Oil for frying Crayfish (maybe 2 tablespoons)
16) Instant Spaghetti


1) Cook Spaghetti following instructions on packet till al dente. Pour into a colander after it has been cooked and rinse under cold water. Set aside
2) Heat oil up in a wok
3) Dust cleaned and scrubbed Crayfish with cornflour and fry in wok
4) Fry till Crayfish has turned orangey and set aside (you can blot the oil with a paper towel)
5) Add 2 tablespoons of butter into the wok (the same one you previously fried your crayfish in), fry chilli and curry leaves until fragrant.
6) Add garlic and onion to the wok and fry till fragrant
7) Mix ingredients 7—13 together and add combined mixture into the wok.
8) Cook until the sauce has reduced
9) Return fried crayfish into the wok and cover the wok while you turn up the fire (about 3 minutes)
10) Take Crayfish out and arrange on your serving plate.
11) Heat up wok and add another tablespoon of butter to the rest of the sauce. Add spaghetti into the wok and stir with sauce.
12) Dish out spaghetti and serve it with your Crayfish
13) Enjoy!

This is basically a one-pot meal which is really satisfying and can be very impressive!

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