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Steamed Crabs with Eggs and Garlic Sautéed Broccoli

I have never cook fresh crab in my entire life, I’ve only cooked hairy crabs in the past, but never manage to open and clean a fresh crab. The major reason is, I’ve never seen my grandma cooking crab, as I was learning how to cook by assisting her when I was a kid. I love crab, so do my husband, let’s try to cook it!

I am thinking to make this dish since long time, steamed crab with eggs. I’ve tried this in Chinese restaurant and I love it, always thinking to cook it one day! But one thing kind of bothering me is, if I have to kill the crab…. I am still not prepared to open the shell of a crab when it’s still alive. I’ve been straggling a bit at the wet market, and I decided to get those are already dead. That makes me feel a bit better, as I’m not the one killing them….

To keep the crabs in good condition, better leave them in the freezer until you want to clean and cook them. Open the shell of the crab and clean them up with toothbrush, make sure you get rid of the heart and the lung. Place the crabs in the middle of the dish, better use a flat dish in order to get the egg evenly distributed. Whisk 4 eggs, add chicken soup and some water into the eggs and whisk them together. Pour the egg mixture into the dish together with the crabs, and cover the dish with cling film which is going to prevent the water dripping in the dish. Now, steam it for 15 to 20 mins with high heat. When it’s done, pour in soy sauce and garnish with chopped spring onion. Heat up some oil and pour it evenly on the dish.

For the Garlic Sautéed Broccoli, start to cook it around 8 minutes before the crabs are done, so you have both dishes ready almost at the same time. Heat up the pan with some butter and a touch of olive oil, add minced garlic, then broccoli. Fry until the broccoli turn soft, can add a touch of water if they are getting brown too quick. When they are almost done, add minced chilli (optional), salt and a touch of sugar to bring out the flavour. 

You can serve these typically with rice. My husband loves the broccoli, as well as the crabs so much! Maybe he is too hungry, lol. Next time, I will try to do the fried crabs with peppercorn! 

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Sunday homemade dinner – Tandoori shrimps skewer with long grain rice

Tonight I would like to cook seafood, was thinking to cook something with shrimps. What can I do with shrimps? Searching online for idea, and I found something with tandoori shrimps, sounds like a good idea to me! A touch of Indian and a bit of spice. I think the best thing to go with the shrimps is the long grain rice that my husband likes, he do prefer long grain rice much more than the Chinese one. After my last trip to India, I always would like to cook something Indian, why not trying it tonight?

The ingredient for tandoori shrimps is not complicated at all, I almost have all the herbs at home, just missing turmeric powder because I finished up with it and need to buy a new one. The first thing to do for this dish is to marinate the shrimps, make sure you’ve spend enough time to marinate them before cooking. At least marinate the shrimps for half an hour, the best at least up to two hours. Remove the head and shell of the shrimp but leave the tail on, and make sure you devein them nicely. Use a large bowl to put all the ingredients for marination, around 300ml of Greek yogurt, together with some olive oil, pinch of salt, lime juice, minced garlic, Garam Masala, turmeric powder and chili powder. Please go for your taste, as there is not a fixed formula because the level of spice that each of us like or can take is very different. Mixed all the ingredients well, and check out the taste always, then place all the shrimps into the bowl and let them sit inside the fringe for around 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the rest, getting things chopped up and ready. I would like to put also onion, red pepper and pineapple to the skewer, so I need to chop them into pieces. For the long grain rice, I would like to cook with carrot and broccoli, so I have to chop them into small cubes as well. You might want to use green pea instead of broccoli, but I really do not like green pea, so I rather go with broccoli. You can choose other green vegetable as you like, for example other kind of beans or even chopped celery. If you are using wooden skewers, please make sure you’ve soaked in water at least for 15 minutes before cooking, as you do not want them to burn later on. I do have some stainless steel skewers, so I do not have to do that.

Let’s start cooking the rice before starting to cook the skewers. I am not sure what are you using to cook the rice, but I am using the rice cooker, as each Chinese should have one at home which is very convenient. If you do not have one, just put the rice with double portion of water and boil them. Add a pinch of salt, and the chopped carrot and broccoli into the rice just right before the rice is done, mix them well together and let them sit into the rice cooker or pot for at least 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

I was cooking the skewers in the oven, but you can do it by frying. Pre-heat the oven under 210C, and get a tray ready covered by foil. Put one piece of onion, red pepper, shrimp, onion, pineapple, shrimp, and so on, alternatively on the skewer until it’s filled up. Repeat the same until you finish with all the ingredients. Place them nicely on the tray and put some olive oil on each single piece, and place them in the oven and grill them for around 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them over in the middle of the way, but the oven is hot enough to cook for both side.

Serve the skewers with the long grain rice, and garnish the skewers with finely chopped coriander and a touch of lime juice. My husband feels that the rice is a bit blend, but I love it with vegetables and actually the touch of carrot is adding some good flavour into the rice. Maybe you can try to use the marinade to make a source for the rice or the overall dish. The dish is not spicy at all for us, I guess next time I will try to add more spice.

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Sunday dinner – Salmon patties with vegetable tempura and mixed salad

Sunday as usual is the day for cooking. Starting off the day with my husband cooking for brunch, he made us crabmeat and egg on toast, which tasted very good. Why not stay with seafood for dinner! I always wanted to make this fish cake, so let’s do it today.

Thinking between salmon or tuna, I finally stick with salmon for tonight’s dinner. I bought two cans of good quality salmon, 150 grams for each can, should be good enough to make around 6-8 patties, of course depends on how big are the patties. Getting also the rest of the ingredients ready, mixed salad, potatoes, carrots, eggs, flours, parsley, cucumber or zucchini, then we can start cooking.

First of all, we should work on the potatoes and carrots for the patties. Boil a pot of hot water, and put the potatoes cubes and carrot cubes inside the pot, season with a pinch of salt. Boil them until they are done, separate them from water and let them cool down. Meanwhile, we can work on the other stuff, like chop the potatoes, carrot and cucumber or zucchini into strips, then place them in a large bowl and mix them together. Buy this Japanese tempura powder (deep fry), and mix them with water until you reach certain consistency. Some of them need to add egg and some do not, please see the package for instruction. When the cooked potatoes and carrots are finally cool down, smash them with the masher, then we can work on the salmon patties. Grab a large bowl for mixing or you can use a food processor to mix, but I do prefer to do it manually, as I do prefer a bit of texture instead of too refine. Place the salmon chucks inside the bowl, break them up by using a fork. Then, add the finely chopped parsley, and now add the mashed potatoes and carrots into the bowl, then add egg, flour, some lemon zest into the bowl, and season it with some black pepper. You really need to to see how much flour and how many eggs to add, and work out your optimum amount and portion. Make sure the patties are not too soft and too watery, make sure you add enough flour to have the right consistency. Mix them well and here you go to work on the patties, use your hand to make them nicely into a round patties around 1cm thick. Sit them on a tray with some flour for the time being, and now work on the vegetables.

Pour some tempura flour into the chopped vegetable mix, and mix them with the flour, let each single piece stick with that. Now, heat up the pan with a good amount of olive oil, grab a bunch of vegetable strips and further dip them into the tempura flour, then place them into the pan for deep fry, or pan fry could work. Fry them on both side until they turn golden brown or the way you like. Repeat this until you finish with all vegetable strips. Then, you can start to fry the salmon patties, try not to rush and keep turning them, otherwise you will mess them up by keep flipping. When everything is done, serve the salmon patties and the vegetable tempura with the salad. The dressing I did with some mustard, mayonnaise, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and white vinegar, this work for the entire dish, not just for the salad. I guess next time I will try to grill the patties in the oven and see what will be the difference, I found the patties a bit too soft and I will try to perfect them next time, but the taste was good, at least….

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An option instead of hotpot – healthy steam s7one pot

The weather is getting crazy these days, extremely warm during Christmas, and now become so cold. It’s around 8C degree here in Hong Kong, and it’s around 0C up on the mountain, people are driving up to the mountain just to see the frozen trees. The observatory mentioned that, there might be chance to snow….? Really? Snowing in Hong Kong? Weather is also crazy everywhere, like the massive blizzard hitting United States, and seriously cold in Northern China as well.

Traditionally, we love to have hotpot here when the weather is getting cold, in order to keep ourselves warm and hot! These days, such kind of steam stone pot became very popular here in Hong Kong. As a lot of food experts claiming that steaming is a far healthier way of cooking than a lot of cooking method. To steam, no oil is needed, less damage to nutrients and helps to conserve vitamins. Nowadays, a lot of people instead of having micro-wave oven at home, they rather use the steam oven at home.

So, more and more restaurants are using such cooking method, instead of the traditional hotpot place. I would say, everything tasted so yummy with the true taste, especially for the seafood. I always think the best way to cook the fresh seafood is steaming, as you can keep all the good taste of the seafood, the freshness of it. This way of cooking, is just so yummy and really taste super good!!! Just a touch a garlic, and you almost do not need any seasoning, because the seafood itself is already tasting so good and so fresh! We ordered scallop, shrimps and mini lobsters, they are all tasting very good! The only thing is, you might want to add a bit of the flavor that you like, such as soy sauce with any herbs or chili.
  

This steaming also works very well with the vegetables, we also ordered a mixed platter with pumpkin, winter melon and lotus root, and another plate with the loofah. Again, they all tasted so good. I cannot find another word to describe, just fantastically good! At the end, we finished up with a congee, that including all the good juices of all the things that we steamed previously. Can you imagine how good it tastes? Of course, again it’s just so yummy!!!

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