Steamed Crab in Lotus Leaf with Spicy Chilli, Garlic and Black Bean Paste in a peranakan dish, fusion between chinese and malay culinary. Lotus leaves gives a nice scent to the spiced crab, resembles of pungent and earthy tea hint. You can purchase dried lotus leaves in asian groceries, it usually sold dried and it must be rehydrated first to soften it prior to cooking by simlpy soaked it in warm water for about 20 minutes, patted dry and then applied some oil in the surface to prevent the filling is sticking. You can replace the lotus leaf with banana leaves or even taro leaves, but the fragrance is not as potent the lotus leaves.
Steamed Crab Wrapped in Lotus Leaves with Fermented Black Bean Paste is actually inspired by Lo Mai Gai dimsum. Lo mai gai is actually steamed sticky or glutinous rice with chicken stuffing in lotus leaf wrap. The sticky or glutinous rice is pre-steamed or preboiled before wrapped in lotus leaf and steamed. General stuffing for lo mai gai is chicken, pork, chinese sausage or lap cheong, mushrooms, and finely chopped dried shrimp. That’s why it’s common preparation when people add cooked glutinous rice or pulut (malay), or ketan (bahasa) within the steamed crab. The glutinous rice absorb the crab natural juice dripping when the crab is steamed in lotus leaf wrapped and it makes the natural crab flavour infused on it, but i prefer to served this steamed crab with steamed buns or mantou.
Steamed Crab in Spicy Black Bean, Garlic and Chilli Sauce basic recipe is similiar with my Steamed Sea Scallop with Black Bean Sauce and Steamed Grouper Fish with Tofu. The ingredients of black bean sauce for steaming this crab is fermented black bean paste, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, ginger, salt and pepper use for the sauce. All the spice paste ingredients processed into a fine paste then chopped chili added to give a nice hot kicking flavour. Besides, you can enrich the flavour the black bean paste with dried shrimp, dried scallop and other savoury and umami dried seafood ingredients. Watch over the saltiness level of the black bean paste since it could be very salty and it’s not necessary to add any salt anymore. This black bean recipe is suits as a dressing for rice porridge, steamed eeg, tofu, or even aubergines. Black bean sauce is actually made of salted and fermented black bean called douci, tausi or tauco hitam in Bahasa. Black bean paste is ready to use, it’s available in a glass jar on most asian groceries in your town, my recommended favourite fermented black bean paste is Lee Kum Kee Brand.
Kepiting saus tauco hitam (tausi) bungkus daun teratai is steamed crab in lotus leaves with spicy fermented black bean or douci, chilli, and garlic in Bahasa Indonesia. I’m using a giant mud crab from Papua Island for this recipe. The gigantic crustacean was weighed about 1.4 Kg and the claw is almost as big as my palm (i’m 5’11” or 180 cm heigh and weighed 95 kg or 190 pounds). This male mud crab is pretty big and four of us who joining the dinner got our stomatch fullfilled within it. The verdict of this pricey gigantic male mud crab meat is much more sweet and succulent compared to female mud crab with roe for my Thai Green Curry. Even my sister consider that the amount of the black bean sauce is not enough (notes: she eat almost all of the steamed buns), i guess i’m doing it to present the natural sweetness of the crab meat.
Recipe Steamed Crab in Lotus Leaf with Spicy Chilli, Garlic and Black Bean Sauce :
- 1 giant mud crab (i’m using 1.4 kg)
- 1 big lotus leaf
- 2 tbsp chopped chilies
- 2 tbs chopped scallion for garnish
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 lemon/ Lime juice
- 2 tbs of premium light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp of sesame oil
- 1/3 cup of chinese cooking wine
- salt and pepper to taste
Spice Paste :
- 2 tbsp of fermented black beans sauce/ tausi, i use Lee Kum Kee Brand
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots
- 2 lemongrass(use only the soft white inner part)
- a pinch of szechuan peppercorn*optional
- 3 cm ginger, chopped
- 1/4 tbs of rock sugar
- salt and peper to taste
- Cleaned and brushed throughly the crab surface, discard the gills, springkle with salt, pepper and drizzle with a little of lime juice, drained, set aside
- Soak the dried lotus leaves in warm water for about 10 minutes until soften, patted dry, applied some oil to the inner surfece, set aside
- Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a wok pan, sautee the spice paste until fragrance and throughly cooked, add the premium light soy sauce, chinese cooking rice wine and sesame oil, bring to boil and simmer unti reduced, set aside
- Mix the sauteed spice paste and crab and chilli, ajdust the taste with salt and pepper
- Put the lotus leaf to cover a heatproof pyrex bowl, put the spiced crab above the lotus leaves
- wrapped the crab with lotus leaves , marinade about 10 minutes.
- Cover the pyrex bowl with alumunium foil to prevent the steaming water dripping
- Meanwhile set your steamer in a highest flame as possible.
- Put lotus leaves wrapped crab with black bean paste in the steamer, steam about 15-20 minutes depend on the size of your crab, Do Not Overcooked It!
- Open the lotus leaves, garnish the steamed crabs with chopped scallion
- Served with mantau or steamed buns