By: Beate Baldry
Crab bee hoon shot to fame when chef Anthony Bourdain raved about the dish after trying it at a street-side joint in infamous Geylang. When done well, this pretty dish is a great mix of saucy noodles and chunks of crab.
To find out how to recreate it at home, we checked out Chinese Home Cooking with Sam Leong – a cookbook by Singapore’s very own celebrity chef which features many recipes handed down from his grandmother to his mother.
This dish will add the wow factor to your dinner – serve it up when in-laws or other out-of-town guests come to visit.
Wok-Fried Vermicelli With Crab: Serves 4
2 crabs, each about 500g
Cooking oil for deep frying
10 slices ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 spring onion, cut into 1cm pieces
80g white hon shimeji mushrooms
300g dried thin vermicelli (bee hoon), soaked in water for 30 minutes and drained
800ml chicken stock
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of ground white pepper
Dash of Chinese cooking wine
Prepare the crabs by pulling off the top shells and cleaning them. Cut off the pincers and cut the bodies into quarters.
Heat the oil and deep-fry the crabs for about one minute. Drain and set aside.
Heat three tablespoons of oil in a wok and add the ginger, garlic, spring onion, mushrooms and crabs, stir-frying until fragrant.
Add ingredients for stock and bring to the boil.
Add the vermicelli and stir-fry until the sauce is thick.
Where to find crab bee hoon in Singapore
Red House Seafood: A bustling place with some riverside seating – smarter than many of the places listed below. Try their special seafood combination curry too. $55/kg*. 60 Robertson Quay, #01-14 The Quayside, 6735 7666
Melben: A hawker-style joint in an HDB block which often has long queues. $55/kg*. 232 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, #01-1222. 6285 6762
Sin Huat: Literally a one-man show, from the cooking to the service. Gets very mixed reviews; there’s no menu and prices can be exorbitant, especially for a place with street-shack ambience. $70 for two people. 659 to 661 Geylang Road at junction of Geylang Lorong 35. 6744 9755
De Classic Golden Spoon: Block 115 Bukit Merah View, #01-68
Ming Kee Live Seafood: $54/kg*. 556 Macpherson Road. 6747 4075
Chin Huat live Seafood: $48.80/kg*. 105 Clementi Street 12, #01-30 Sunset Way. 6775 7348
*TIP: Crab bee hoon is sold most often by the price per kilo of the crab. One kilo should feed around three people as part of a larger meal.