*This post was written by Eric V. and edited/formatted by The Lunch Belle. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs were captured by Eric V.*
In honor of Singapore Restaurant Week in the Big Apple, yours truly was invited to attend the Singapore Crab Throwdown at The Daily Meal Kitchen & Bar!
Hosted by The Daily Meal and the Singapore Tourism Board, this exclusive cooking class was led by influential Singaporean chefs, Justin Quek and Wayne Liew, who flew in especially for the celebration!
Check out the drool-worthy menu lineup, below:
After a quick introduction of the program - plus an overview of Singaporean cuisine (and its pan-Asian Chinese-Malay-Indian fusion) - by the staff at The Daily Meal, the first live demonstration commenced.
Singapore Chili Crab
Chef Wayne Liew, of Keng Eng Kee Seafood (plus his brother and sister who also work at the family-run restaurant,) explained that Chili Crab is a traditional Singaporean dish and a favorite in the city-state. Although the team wasn't using Sri Lankan mud crabs in this particular preparation, which are preferred and used at Keng Eng Kee, local crabs made for a sufficient substitution, especially when dressed with a mélange of flavorful ingredients, including: Sambal, chili, sweet and sour sauce, and a pinch of sugar.
Salted Egg Yolk Crab
Chef Liew and the Keng Eng Kee team also prepared a twist on the traditional Singaporean entree, Salted Egg Yolk Crab. This salty egg yolk "powder" is a Chinese ingredient that's actually used on many dishes in Singapore, including onion rings, French fries, and calamari! Some have even gone as far as to call it the nouveau truffle...
Justin Quek, one of the best-known Singaporean chefs in the world, was next to demonstrate his cooking for the group.
When I used to live in Singapore a few years ago, I visited his fabulous restaurant, Sky on 57, and had a lovely Franco-Asian meal. I was so excited to get to meet Chef in person! And it was totally surreal to re-experience his cuisine in NYC!
Crab Vermicelli in Light Ginger Broth
As an Asian chef who trained in France, many of Justin's unique culinary creations could best be described as "Asian food with French thinking or (vice versa) French food with Asian thinking." In keeping with the shellfish theme, Chef prepared crab vermicelli in a light ginger broth. Inspired by Singaporean hawker-stall food, he explained that this particular dish could be enjoyed at any time of the day - served as a representation of Singaporean comfort food or made more upscale by pairing it with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
Wok Fried Black Pepper Crab and Maine Lobster
Until we eat again,
Eric V. for The Lunch Belle