Crabs are pretty popular as a seafood in SIngapore and are easily found, both at supermarkets and readily cooked at various restaurants.
Crabs are prepared in a variety of ways, and the most popular crab recipe in Singapore is the Chili Crab. Apart from that you can also enjoy Black Pepper Crabs, Butter Crabs, salted Egg sauce crabs, Steamed Crabs and many more.
This time, we’ll look at a crab dish commonly served at many seafood restaurants across Singapore, the Crab Bee Hoon.
This warm dish consists of crabs cooked with rice vermicelli, in butter and milk based gravy. When served warm, it offers a familiar and comforting feeling that reminds one of home. The softness of the rice vermicelli makes this crab dish easy to consume.
The addition of vegetables to Crab Bee Hoon makes this dish a complete meal by itself. Alternatively, you can also have Crab Bee Hoon as a side dish.
Making Crab Bee Hoon at home is actually quite easy. In fact, it’s one of least challenging crab dishes to make. As long as you get the basic ingredients right, the dish will fall into place.
Crabs are incredibly flavorful, and the combination of their sweet flesh with a unique marine savory taste lends another layer to your Crab Bee Hoon.
Tips on Crab Bee Hoon’s Main Ingredients
Crab Bee Hoon is a soupy dish consisting mainly of crab pieces, cooked with rice vermicelli. It sits in thin gravy made rich by evaporated milk, chicken stock, butter and other condiments.
There is some leeway when it comes to the main ingredients. You can personalize it and make this dish your own, and use the types which are your favorites. The following are some useful tips for you as you choose ingredients for your Crab Bee Hoon.
When buying your crabs, make sure you buy them as close as possible to your planned cooking session. Crabs are best cooked fresh and alive. You should avoid cooking dead crabs or crabs that have been frozen for a long time as their quality may be compromised.
Among the most common crabs used in Crab Bee Hoon by restaurant are Sri Lankan Mud Crabs. You can recognize them by their extremely large front pincers. However, you can replace these with any types of crabs you like or that you can find. In Singapore, these include flower crabs and Dungeness crabs.
Bee Hoon, or sometimes spelled Mee Hoon, are thin rice vermicelli noodles made from rice flour. They’re the best type of noodles to go with this dish because they pick up the delicious crab flavored soup easily.
Although the thin, regular Bee Hoon is most often used here, you can also go for other noodle alternatives. Some people may not really favor Bee Hoon due to its relatively harder texture.
One of the alternatives is Shu Mi Fen, or thick Bee Hoon. This type of rice noodles is thicker and can absorb the soupy gravy better. Sometimes, cooks also use Laksa noodles which are even thicker than Shu Mi Fen.
If you prefer noodles with a more chewy texture, you can also choose Cellophane Noodles, also known as Glass Noodles to some. These noodles are made from mung bean flour and won’t turn soggy despite being cooked in the crab soup for a long time.
Source: David Sugden@Flickr
Butter is absolutely essential to give this dish a richer flavor. You may choose to replace it with a healthier spread alternative like Sunflower seed margarine without significantly affecting its taste.
Make sure you buy the right canned evaporated milk, which is unsweetened and not the sweetened condensed milk. Alternatively, you can also use regular milk from a box if you can’t find evaporated milk. However, you may have to boil your soup longer to get a thicker consistency.
The best alternative is to make your own chicken stock using leftover chicken bones, skin and organs, together with extra parts of vegetables. If you’re a busy cook, you can always pick up chicken stock concentrates, chicken stock cubes or instant chicken stock soup (usually in boxes) at your local supermarket.
Crab Bee Hoon Ingredients List
-2 medium sized crabs
– 500g Bee Hoon or noodle of your choice
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce
– 5 slices of ginger
– ½ cup evaporated milk
– 1 cup canned chicken stock or 1 chicken stock cube
– 2 cups water
– White pepper to taste
– 1 stalk of scallion cut into 2cm pieces
– 3 green leafy veggies like Bak choy, spinach or Choy Sum
The 5 Steps to Making Great Crab Bee Hoon
Prepare your ingredients by first soaking the Bee Hoon in warm water for at least 20-30 minutes. Once it’s soft, drain and set aside. Slice your ginger and veggies at this point.
Next, clean and kill your live crabs. Chop them into easy to eat pieces. Fry these pieces with some butter and 2 -3 slices of ginger to remove any fishy smell for about 8 minutes. Set aside.
In a pot or deep wok, place 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the remaining pieces of ginger. Then, add in your water, evaporated milk and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
Once boiling, add your crab pieces to the liquid. Cook until the crabs are thoroughly heated.
Add in the Bee Hoon, fish sauce, Chinese cooking wine, white pepper, scallion and green veggies. Heat on medium for another 3-5 minutes until the veggies have wilted. It’s now ready to serve!
Source: 8 Crabs
Everyone loves a comforting bowl of Crab Bee Hoon at the end of a long day. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can always choose to order a Crab Bee Hoon dish delivered right to your door. One great place to order from would be 8 Crabs. You can even order an hour before meal time, as they only take that long to deliver island-wide.