Friday, November 11, 2011

black pepper crab

During the most recent trip to Singapore, I had a couple of very good meals. One was a business meal at the Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck restaurant. As the name implied, we had Peking duck (excellent), but the high light of the meal was the 'yellow fish'. This is a fish that some consider a delicacy and the over-fishing has made it quite expensive and mostly only consumed at really posh places or special occasions. Our family used to eat it only once or twice a year, like for Chinese new year or my grandparents' birthdays. At the Imperial, each guest got a whole, palm size fish that was panfried. what made this fish so sought after by gourmands is how soft and delicate the flesh is, it is not soft because it is mushy, it is soft because the flakes are tiny. The flavor is mild, but the texture is just so unbelievable it is unlike any fish or shell fish.

I will get to the point now, some of you may know that Singapore is famous for the crabs cooked in chili-pepper sauce of some sort. A quick search online the names of a few places pop up repeatedly. So we just picked one and went to a No Sign Board (this one is got large round tables in a covered outdoor dining area) restaurant and ordered a crab, a 'medium' crab weighing 1.2 kg and cooked in black pepper sauce. The crab is meaty, perfectly cooked (in my opinion anyway, when the flesh is just opaque, not over cooked like most places in North America), and the spicy sauce was not too thick or overwhelming and has enough of a bite that contrast well with the faintly sweet shell fish. At ~$40 for the crab, it is certainly not something I would want to or can afford to eat regularly, but enjoyable enough that I would indulge now and then, maybe once a year.

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