Asian classics

Famous ... a variation on Neil Perry's iconic stir-fried spanner crab omelet.
Famous ... a variation on Neil Perry's iconic stir-fried spanner crab omelet.

Classic flavours are often simple to achieve. This variation on my famous crab omelet and an authentic sweet and sour pork are both quick and easy.

You can mix up the seafood in the omelet, or use cooked chicken, pork or a combination. I also like it with chilli sauce and rice as a meal on its own.

4 x 55g eggs
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
200g spanner crab meat
100g bean sprouts
150ml peanut or vegetable oil
4 tbsp oyster sauce

Serves 4

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. In a separate small container, dissolve the palm sugar in the fish sauce. Add to the eggs and whisk well.

Pick through the crab meat for any cartilage and shell. Add the bean sprouts, and mix well.

Heat the oil in a wok until smoking. Add the egg mixture. It should puff up and go crisp. Cook for 2 minutes, then place the crab mixture in the middle. Cook for a further minute, then remove from the heat.

Holding the omelet in place, tilt the wok to pour off excess oil. Fold one side of the omelet into its centre, then do the same with the opposite side. Put it back on the heat and cook for 1 minute. Set the omelet aside to rest in a warm place for a further 2 minutes.

To serve, carefully remove the omelet and place on a large plate. Top with oyster sauce and divide into 4 portions.

Classic sweet and sour is so tasty. You can swap the pork with chicken or fish, and the sauce is great poured over a crisp, whole fried fish. Thicken the sauce with a little cornflour and water if needed.

Serve the pork with rice and boiled or stir-fried greens.


300g pork loin, thickly sliced
1 1/2 tbsp shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plain flour
500ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying, plus extra
1/2 knob ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 green (spring) onions, cut into 4cm lengths
1/2 red capsicum, cut into large dice
1/2 green capsicum, cut into large dice
1/2 cup fresh chicken stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp Chinese red vinegar (available from Asian supermarkets)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 tsp sesame oil
small handful coriander leaves

Serves 4

Combine the pork, 1/2 tbsp shaoxing wine and the sea salt in a bowl and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Beat the egg and flour with about 2 tbsp water to form a light batter.

Heat the oil in a wok or deep-fryer until just smoking (180°C). Dip the pork in the batter and carefully deep-fry the slices in batches until golden. Drain on paper towel. Pour the oil from the wok and wipe clean.

Heat the wok again with 2 tbsp vegetable oil until just smoking and stir-fry the ginger, onion and capsicum until fragrant. Deglaze the wok with the remaining rice wine, then add the stock, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and tomato sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until thickened slightly.

Add the pineapple and pork and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame oil and coriander leaves.


Match the 2010 Egon Müller Scharzhof Riesling ($39), from one of Germany's greatest producers, with the spanner crab omelet. The wine is elegant and pure, with just a touch of residual sugar. It is superb paired with the sweetness of the crab.

Source: Good Weekend 
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This story Asian classics first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.