Parkroyal on Beach Road’s chef Fong Pak Chung and Kek Chye Cheng show us how to select and prepare fresh crab!

Selecting your crab:

(1) Look out for heavy crabs with dark brown shells, with an orange tint on their pincers. It often means that their meat is more dense and tender. Female crabs usually have an orange tint on the sides of their shell, indicating that they are full of eggs. Avoid crabs with greenish shells.

(2) How to tell the different gender of crabs? Look out for the shapes on the crab’s belly. A ‘V’-shape means it’s a male and a ‘U’-shape means it’s a female.

Preparing your crab:

(1) Lay the crab, underside up, on the chopping board. Make a cut right through the centre of the belly.

(2) Remove the gills and chop to your desired size.

(3) Wash the crab in cold water.

(5) Take out the crab and submerge immediately in an ice bath for 5 minutes, to keep the crab from overcooking and to preserve the tenderness of the meat. Good to keep for 2-3 days.

Tip: Slaughter the crab before steaming to prevent the limbs from falling out.

PARKROYAL on Beach Road’s White Pepper Crab

The white pepper is first roasted in a heated wok under medium heat, to bring out its full spiciness and flavour. Oil and garlic is added, then chopped onion and parsley stems., followed by oyster sauce.

Chef’s secret? Fish sauce for umami.

The peppery sauce is left to boil over a medium heat before adding the steamed Indonesian mud crab. Mix well and leave the crab to braise in the pepper sauce for about 5 minutes.

Thicken the sauce using a mixture of equal parts corn our and water, adding it slowly to the wok and stirring continuously. While the sauce thickens, add a drizzle of sesame oil as a finishing touch to the dish.

Ultimate Crab Feast ($68++, dinner) features this and more than 12 kinds of crab dishes, from 9 April–28 June, Sunday to Wednesdays. Plaza Brasserie, Parkroyal on Beach Road, 7500 Beach Road. Tel: 6505 5666