Monday, August 13, 2012

A Crabby Old Lady

I went to the wet market two Saturdays ago. My intention was to to buy some prawns to make a prawn salad for lunch. It was a dish suggested by my Quay Lo. I saw some nice looking crabs next to it. I just could not take my eyes off of them. As I am crazy for crabs, I did not need much of a sales pitch from the fishmonger to buy some. I picked up a kilogram. As soon as I arrived home, I started cooking my favorite spicy, sweet and sour crabs. Would you believe it if I tell you that I finished all those crabs by myself? No, I am not kidding, I really did.

Yes, I am a crabby old lady, but not like you expected when you read my title, and not what you read about in the following poem. 


A Crabby Old Woman!

What do you see, kids, what do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me...
A crabby old woman, not very wise
Uncertain of habit with faraway eyes.
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice: 'I do wish you'd try.'
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is losing a stocking or shoe:
Who, unresisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, kids - you're looking at ME.

 
I tell you who I am as I sit here so still
as I act on your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child often, with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters who love one another.
A young girl of 16, with wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now, a lover she'll meet.
A bride soon at 2O - my heart gives a leap
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At 25 now, I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure, happy home.
A woman of 3O, my young now grow fast
Bound to each other with ties that should last.

 
At 4O, my young sons have all grown and gone
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.
At 5O, once more babies play round my knee
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me; my husband is dead
I look to the future and shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I've known.

 
I'm now an old woman and Nature is cruel
'Tis sad to make old age look like a fool..
The body it crumbles, grace and vigour depart
There now is a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells
And now and again, my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain
And I'm living and loving life over again.
I think of the years, all too few, gone too fast
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last...
So open your eyes, kids, open and see
Not a crabby old woman - look closer, see ME!
– by Anonymous
Some of you may have read this before. I think we can all agree that the poem is sad, and perhaps too often true. And does it make us think how the time will come for each of us, that we age, and if we are not careful, betrayed by our bodies, grow crabby, sadly not able to enjoy a pile of fresh crabs but remembering them with fondness.   Well I didn't think of any of this the day I made this dish. I arrived home and began working on my personal pile of goodness. Somewhere during the meal, devouring the now bright red crabs, it occurred to me that later I must compensate for the feasting by skipping a meal and eating my veggies. I didn't think it very long however. I am happy to report that Quay Lo isn't particularly fond of crab. He says he spends way more calories getting to the meat then he gets eating the meat when he gets there. I didn't tactfully try to suggest that in his case that might be a good thing, because lets face it, there is no tactful way to say that besides, I wasn't thinking about that anyway. At this writing I only have a recollection that I was thinking "it's mine...all mine!" I better eat as much as I can, right now. LOL!

OK, so now, feast over, mission accomplished, and sitting down to recall it here with fondness, the poem suddenly popped into my mind. I had read it some years ago.  I am not sure why I thought of it but crab and crabby are at least related words, though with different meanings. So let me ask you, just now as you read it, did it make you feel a little sad? You won’t when you see the crab dish that I made because this dish tastes as good as it looks. Make this as soon as you can. Prepare it carefully and then sit down and eat it slowly, enjoying each bite. We'll worry about aging, getting crabby, and expanding beltlines later. Some day it may be just a memory, but it won't be one if you don't just do it.

Spicy, sweet and sour crab


This dish is featured in Asian Food Channel (Official) Facebook page
on 15 August 2012


Ingredients:

3 crabs about 1 to 1.2 kg
4 tbs for frying
1 tsp sesame oil
½ cup water
1 onion sliced
1 egg,  lightly beaten

Sauce Ingredients:
2 tbs oyster sauce
1/2 tbs soy sauce
3 tbs tomato sauce
2 tomato, (blanched, skin and seeds removed)
¼ cup fresh red chilli sauce
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs tamarind juice 
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 piece 2 in young ginger, diced
1 lemon grass, diced (white part only)

Method:
Wash and cut crab in small pieces and roughly pound the shells. Put all the cleaned crabs into colander, drain well and then set inside the fridge while prepare the sauce. Place all the sauce ingredients in blender and blend till smooth paste. Heat a wok with 2 tbs oil, toss the crabs until they turn red and cooked. Dish out the crabs and set aside. Heat 2 tbs oil and sauté, onion slices till translucent. Pour in the sauce and let it simmer for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the crabs and ½ cup water and stir to have all pieces of crab covered by the sauce. Let it simmer for another 10 mins. Add in beaten eggs and stir quickly and when sauce is thickened, turn off the fire and serve immediately with toasted bread for soaking up sauce.

66 comments:

  1. Such a sad poem...but reality bites. I only hope everyone can see beyond the superficial and discover the real me behind this big, fat and ugly old man and see what lies within for all of us are always beautiful in our own ways inside.

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    1. I don't know about others but I see way beyond!! Come on! You may be fat and big but you are not ugly.

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  2. I love crabs but I'm too lazy to bother - will only have it once in a long while. Love those cheesy stuffed crab shells though - those are very easy to eat. Hehehehehehehe!!!!

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    1. Oh ya, you like the cheesy stuffed crab shells because you don't need to work on it? You just don't know what you missed because working on the crabs is part of the excitement and fun.

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  3. Quay Po, what a coincidence. I just had crabs last Saurday too! But not spectacular like yours lah, I just boiled them and extracted the meat for another dish and ate whatever crab meat that was leftover. I agree with your Quay Lo, it is too much work! And you finished all by yourself, your appetite is not that of an old lady :) Thanks for sharing that thought provoking poem. It is sad but we can do something to make life during our old age beautiful.

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    1. Hi, I think it is better to steam the crabs instead of boiling them, wasted the sweetness of the crabs unless you want to use the water as a soup later -- Tom Yum soup. After finished removing the meat, throw all the shells back to the water and boil with some ginger for 10++ mins to get the stock.

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    2. Mrs Lee, thanks so much for the tip. Will use your method next time if I have the energy to peel crabs again!

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    3. Phone Hong, what dish did you make out of the crab meat? Oh yes, we definitely are the conductor of our life. It is up to us to play the kind of music of we like:D

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  4. Really? You finished that all by yourself? Indeed you are a Crab person. Your sweet chilli crab must be delicious by the look at it. I am drooling now...

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    1. Mel, read my lips. R-E-A-L-L-Y. hehehe

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  5. Oh, I love eating crabs. Very tempting looking at your 'lively' photos.

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    1. Thanks my dear. You love crabs too? When are we going to have some together?

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  6. Haven't eaten crab for a long time. You sure do know how to cook anything!

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    1. Carolyn, I think anybody can cook anything they want but to cook it well and delicious is the hard part:D

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  7. Haha really coincidence, I chatting with my girl friends and all of us craving for crabs recently. Then drop by your blog and your posted such yummy & delicious spicy, sweet & sour crabby.

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    1. So have you and your girl friends have your crabs yet? Those in Teluk Gong are good.

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  8. I always stingy to add in an egg for any crab dishes, later I found out that by adding an beaten egg at the end of cooking makes the dish a great different !! Even Thai curry crab, egg was added in Thailand !!

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    1. Yes, the very egg add a new dimension in flavor to the dish.

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  9. May be I get you as a 鬼婆 = Guay Po, who cooks !! 鬼婆 means "Quay Lo" Guaylo's wife !! Yes, almost every house wife who married to overseas and has to force themselves to cook !! Just like my daughter who stayed overseas since after Form 5. She told me that she bought egg fried rice as lunch then burger for dinner. Until one day a boy from the hostel asked her to join them for dinner and she cried and cried over a table of delicious food !! She was so touched that time. From then on she learn cooking. I couldn't teach her as she was not allowed to help in the kitchen when she was staying with me. My mother-in-law said that only the lazy mother wanted her child to help in the kitchen.

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    1. It is a blessing in disguise for your daughter, I am sure she is pleased to know how to cook.

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  10. I love crabs but I do not know how to "kill" them... so I ended up not cooking those at all... unless they are "murdered" in the market itself.. but then it will not be so fresh...

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    1. Ya la, have someone murder them and you enjoy them. That's a good plan. hehe

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  11. I love crab too but never cook it myself. Can't make myself to kill them..

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    Replies
    1. Claire has given us a good suggestion to solve your problem. hehe

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  12. My favorite...if only I am allowed to eat more :) Yours definitely looks delicious !

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  13. I'm getting crabby just looking at these and not able to eat them. I can't make myself "murder" (as reanaclaire said) those creatures and I certainly don't know how to clean them. So it's restaurants, penang or Subang Jaya for me :)

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    1. Ping, big pressure to cook for another crabby old lady so I say restaurant Penang. hahaha

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  14. Must be finger-licking good. No wonder you finish all by yourself! Good work!

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    1. Veronica, I think so, to my own standard. LOL!

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  15. WAH you can finish 1kg crabs on your own? *clap clap*

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  16. WOW, Well done :D

    XoXo
    http://abudhabifood.blogspot.com

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  17. I love crabs....some more shiun lat crbs....really makes me drool.

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    1. So when are we going to eat crabs together?

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  18. This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing :). Glad I found your awesome blog!!
    xoxo
    Ash
    http://abpetite.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Ash for dropping by. Hope to see your around. XOXO

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  19. Nice and Yummy recipe! i'm following you
    http://kitchenista-welcometomykitchen.blogspot.com/

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    1. Neela, thanks for the following. Hope you enjoy my space as much as I do.

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  20. Veron, which market do you buy your crabs from? My family loves crab, especially my 5 year old ! He is the biggest crab lover, always asking for it every weekend! Its so expensive now to eat crabs in restaurant, but thats the only place i get to eat because i am too scared to wash and chop them!

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    1. Esther, I bought those crabs in SS15 Subang wet market. You can ask the fishmonger to chop and clean for you if you are scared to do it yourself.

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  21. arhh! lovely crab meal there! :D

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    1. Thanks Xue Ren. It is your first time here? Hope to see you again soon.

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  22. OMG,you had 1kg of crab for lunch that day? Even I would worry abt my cholesterol level though I love crab too,you are very geng Cao,super mama!

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    1. I could not believe I did that but it is the truth. Eat first and worry about my cholesterol level later.

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  23. beautiful! and hey, i think a younger person like me can still eat the whole plate by myself! LOL

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  24. deliciously done and presented crab looks wonderful

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  25. My favorite seafood, cooked just the way I love it! My, wish I am sitting there sharing your joy in eating these delicious crabs! Yummy!

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    1. Jeannie, no need to wish, we are so near to each other, I am sure we can do that sometime.

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  26. mmm...this looks really yummy, Quay Po! Probably not a good idea for me to read this so close to lunchtime when I can't get my hands on any crab at uni! hehe. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I know, it is hard to see food when the stomach is empty:D

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  27. Hi Quay Po, wow... delicious crab. Look really good, no wander you finish the whole plate :)

    Nice pictures.
    Have a nice day.

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  28. This is my favourite dish!! But I don't know how to cook them :(. Can order from you one day :P

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    1. Kitty, look at this recipe, simple right? you can do it:D

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  29. I'll definitely be a crabby old lady with those crabs!

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  30. The words in the Poem tugged my heart...could almost see myself went through the phases n soon to step onto the next ohase in life :(
    but your crabs looks excellent .... I love crabs :D

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    1. Yes, the poem is a little sad but let's take it in a positive manner. Know that the time will come and it is inevitable so when we are not crabby, let's live life to the fullest and enjoy each day like our last.

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  31. yummylicious! you like my poem? here's one for you

    quay po goes to market to look for crabs
    bring them home and make them collapse
    killing them to others may cause some frustration
    but with qp's skills, can handle them with no commotion.

    Both of us are very 'ngam' key
    can wallop 2 kilos of crabs, you and me
    not sure if we turn crabby when we get old
    just hope we still as alert and not getting out of control.

    hugs!!

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  32. Life is short but not cruel. We learned along the way....as we don't live here forever..so all we need is a space with just the height & length of our body by the end of our life. *sigh* Yes, this is the fact of life. At the end, our exploration of life value the most. But always greediness killed most of the human kind and causing them to lose all. You did what you get & you get what you did! Fair enough.
    Kristy

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