Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wok-tossed Sandcrab in Sate Sauce

Wok-tossed Sandcrab in Sate Sauce
Home Cooking

Another old post. Ah... at the rate that I'm blogging I'm probably never going to produce anything fresh. Sorry guys. I can endeavor to try harder? Possibly? These days I have an odd relationship with my laptop. I seem to always be on it but never doing anything productive. It's some kind of reverse efficiency?


Ok... *calm* back to my story.

Masterchef followers will recognize Luke Nguyen's crab recipe from a Masterclass way back. He made it with mud crab but well, we can't all be mud crab eaters, OK? Friday nights I tend to be at mum and dad's house so dad watched this episode and he was quite entranced by the sate sauce so proclaimed he would recreate this dish.

This dish is almost entirely about that sate sauce. The crab itself is just deep fried but the sauce is where all the flavor resides. It's compiled from a complex combination of ingredients that lends the right amount of savory, spicy, numbing and so on. The original recipe and a video can be seen here. As usual, we tinkered with the quantities.

Wok-tossed Sandcrab in Sate Sauce

Serves ~ 3

  • 2 x sandcrabs
  • vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • potato starch for dusting
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 2 long red chillies, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 tbsp sate sauce (see below)
For the sate sauce
  • 100 g crab meat (we left this out)
  • 50 g dried shrimp. Soaked in 1 cup water for 20 minutes & drained
  • 10 g dried chili flakes
  • 50 ml chili oil
  • 5 spring onions, sliced (white part only)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 200 ml vegetable oil

For the sate sauce...

1. Pour the vegetable oil in a wok and bring to medium heat.
2. Fry the garlic and spring onion till fragrant.
3. Add crab meat (if using), shrimps, sugar, oyster sauce, salt and fish sauce. Stir then reduce heat to a low simmer for 30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes.4. Lastly add chili oil, stir and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
5. Refrigerate in an airtight container (if you don't use the crab meat, the sauce can keep for a month). This sate sauce can be used as a dipping sauce for noodle soups or add to stir fry’s. Or, use with the crab dish as in this post :D.
For the crab..

1. Clean the crab under running water and drain. Place the crab on its stomach and chop the crab in half with a heavy cleaver. Now chop each half into 4 pieces, chopping each piece after each leg. (I'm not really sure how dad cut the crab but these are the instructions from the original recipe).2. Heat the oil in a wok to 200°C (400°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 5 seconds. Dust the crab pieces with potato starch, shaking off the excess.
3. Deep-fry the crab in batches for 3 minutes, turning over once, until golden brown. Remove from the wok and drain on kitchen paper. Remove the oil, reserving 2 tablespoons, and clean the wok.4. Heat the reserved oil in the wok, then add the shallots and garlic and fry until fragrant. Now add the sate sauce and stir for 1 minute. Add the crab and spring onions and toss, making sure to coat the crab well. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with chili.

The crab worked out pretty good in that it was fleshy, tender and delicious but we felt that much of that was credit to the crabs themselves. The sate sauce tasted good but didn't seem to go a long way in flavoring the crab. Perhaps we did something wrong?
Crab claws

We used the sate sauce to make noodles too and that was quite delicious. You can see that ours is quite chunky. I recommend you get busier with knife to make the sauce finer because I suspect that's one reason it didn't soak up well into the crab.


  1. Hey I made this as well! My sate sauce seemed to be much oilier. I did use the crab meat (cheated with fresh crab meat bought at Coles rather than cracking open crabs and extracting the meat). Later though, I discovered that it tasted almost identical to the XO sauce you can buy at grocery stores...

  2. Hi cinnamobus! I agree the sate sauce has an XO sauce vibe. And I do think ours should have been oilier/finer.