I have two crabby gangs…no it’s nothing to do with the mood or demeanor of these ladies, it’s the fact that we all adore eating crab. Crab is one thing hubs and I don’t see eye to eye on – he is ever so obliging and will happily bring me to eat crab but he finds the navigation around the shell and claws really tedious and doesn’t really like it. And I always feel like eating crab is a social activity – you have to get down and dirty, all fingers in and strip the shells clean. So every once in a while we will get the crabby gang out to feast on giant Sri Lankan crabs done in all styles. My favorites would be black pepper crab, baked garlic and spring onion crab and steamed crab in egg white. Singapore has an iconic chili crab but I avoid it as the sauce is loaded with sugar.
Still, if you want to avoid all the picking through shells and finger work, it’s easy enough to get frozen crab meat. It isn’t cheap – a can of lump crab meat in NTUC or Cold Storage costs $25-50. Frozen crab in fish wholesalers like Song Fish Dealers is much cheaper at about $18 per 500g packet, but is a bit iffy as I have had bits of shells in the mix before and it sometimes seems a little less fresh. In my recent forays round different wet markets in Singapore (mainly because my usual go-to place in Whampoa was under renovation), I found a frozen seafood stall in Toa Payoh market and got a packet of frozen crab at $20. I was pleasantly surprised that the crab was fresh and well prepared and will probably buy from this stall in future when I want to cook crab dishes (I personally adore crabmeat and fish maw soup!).
Anyway this is a very simple crabmeat and egg omelette recipe that is a throw back to my childhood. I remember the old-style Chinese or Cantonese restaurants would often have a sharksfin and crab meat omelette served in lettuce cups. Sharksfin is definitely off the menu nowadays because of the nasty fishing practices of cutting off the fins and throwing the poor shark back into the water. But crab is awesome and I think this remake of an old time favorite doesn’t miss the sharksfin.
I love that these crab omelette lettuce cups make a nice light meal. You can bulk it up by cutting in some shirataki noodles into the omelette; I didn’t do it this time because I wanted the full on crab-laden experience. I think this makes a nice starter; in Chinese home cooking, all the dishes are served at once and not in courses, so it would make a good side dish as well.
Crab Meat Omelette Lettuce Cups
- 1 packet of crab meat (about 400-500g), thawed and drained
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 carrot, finely julienned
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp chinese wine
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 packet of shirataki noodles, cut into short 2 inch lengths (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped spring onions
- 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used peanut oil)
- 1 head of butterhead lettuce, washed and cleaned. Use only the large leaves as cups.
- Beat the eggs and add the seasoning: soy sauce, fish sauce, chinese wine, sesame oil, oyster sauce and ground white pepper.
- Heat up 2 tbsp peanut oil in a wok over medium heat. Stir fry the garlic and carrots till the garlic is fragrant and the carrots are softened (about 1-2 minutes) then add the crab meat and bean sprouts and fry another minute (don’t over fry the bean sprouts).
- Add the egg mixture and scramble together with the crab and bean sprouts till the eggs are just done (about 1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and top with the chopped spring onions.
- Serve together with the lettuce leaves and let your guests make their own lettuce cups by scooping 1-2 spoons of egg onto a lettuce leaf.