Monday, 9 April 2012

Steamed Crab Glutinous Rice---A Dish for all Seasons

In Singapore, we eat glutinous rice all year round regardless of season or weather. So when I moved to Hong Kong a couple of years back, and was told that glutinous rice was eaten mostly during the cool season, I was quite surprised. And, if the warming global climate is anything to go by, and the past two winters in HK any indication of things to come, glutinous rice might soon be an extinct dish!

Anyway, I love glutinous rice whichever way it is cooked---dumpling, fried, steamed, and especially in this featured recipe. I ate this version long ago when I was young, and had all but forgotten it, until I encountered it again at Chef Ang Sang Kang (better known as Chef Kang)’s tiny and rather stifling shop located in an HDB block in Serangoon. Later, in a seemingly roller-coaster career that saw a few ups and downs, Chef Kang moved to bigger premises in Joo Chiat, and finally to his present restaurant, Canton Recipes House, at a hotel in Albert Street. Having said that, a meal at Chef Kang’s, wherever he’s located, has always proven a treat.

This is a simple recipe that I learned from some chefs in Hong Kong, and which I’ve tweaked a little. In this recipe, it is important to use garlic in the form of a paste prepared beforehand, instead of as raw chopped garlic added just before steaming. The reason being that cooked garlic paste would be more robust and mellow in taste, and would come in handy for other recipes too!

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Crab

Glutinous rice             300 g
Water                            5 cups
Salt                                 1½ tsp
Chicken broth             3 tbsp
Light soy sauce           1 tbsp
Crab                               1 or 2, depending on size
Garlic paste                 2 tbsp
Spring onion
White pepper

  1. Soak glutinous rice with 5 cups of water. Drain the rice thoroughly after 3 hours. Add salt in the rice and mix well.
  2. Steam rice for 30 minutes. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of chicken broth and continue to steam for another 10 minutes.
  3. In between, sprinkle light soy sauce onto the rice.
  4. Add crab and garlic paste and steam for another 9 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle spring onions and pepper before serving.

Garlic paste:
Garlic                         8, finely chopped
Oil                              8 tbsp
Salt                            ¼ tsp

1.              Fry garlic and salt under low heat.
2.              Keep stirring until the garlic is cooked and could be mashed easier.
3.              Remove and keep in a cool corner.