A couple of weeks back, I chanced upon a blog post on how a couple sharing their tips on being financially thrifty in Singapore. One of the tricks was cooking at home. That piqued my interest and read further. They recommended a seafood “wholesaler” Ah Hua Kelong. This wholesaler sold fresh fish, mussels and flower crabs. Spend S$40, and they will deliver it to your doorstep for free. Curious, I googled, and found Ah Hua Kelong.
After a quick snooping around, I must say I was sold! Fish is hauled up on the day of your delivery. I am all about FRESH FRESH fish. You have a choice of Grouper, Golden Pomphret, Sea Bass. Groupers and Sea Bass when fresh are PERFECT for steaming. My family love steamed fish (either Cantonese or Teochew style), but we are very particular about the quality of the fish. Guess it is my Cantonese roots showing….rule of thumb when preparing steamed fish. IT HAS TO BE FRESH.
In the past, I have purchased my fresh fish from the market or at supermarkets. I would do the whole routine of checking to make sure the eyes are clear, the gills are red, the body is firm, and there should be a film of slim. Even then sometimes it is a miss when it comes to freshness. Seeing Ah Hua Kelong state that the fish is only pulled out of the water and processed the day of delivery, I just had to try it.
On the website, it also said that the workers catch wild flower crabs to supplement their income. Pretty cool. My family enjoy our crabs, but the ones we get at the wet market and supermarket are dead by the time I get my hands on them. The website warned that some of the crabs might still be alive upon delivery because they only catch crabs on the day of delivery too! Live crabs (which I have managed to purchase one other time from another wholesaler) can be traumatising to slaughter, BUT the meat is firm…sweet and the meat doesn’t still to the shell. LOVELY. That went on my shopping list.
So over the long weekend, I asked Ah Hua Kelong to deliver one Grouper, 1kg worth of flower crabs, and 1kg of mussels. I managed to hit over S$40…free delivery! Brilliant.
Ordering was painless, I shot them a email informing them what i would like to order, when I would like it delivered and my address. They sent a confirmation and it was job done!
On the day of delivery, they sent a sms informing me what time they should be arriving at my place. (good service) and the sweet delivery guy arrived. Friendly fella with a bright smile on his face….holding my precious delivery in a nice cardboard box. Nice! Environmentally friendly! Upon closer inspection, I was even more impressed. They tell you what time the seafood was prepped for my delivery!
Like a lil gal on Christmas morning….i gingerly popped open the box. I was also a bit apprehensive seeing as the crabs could be alive. heh! In my excitment, sorry, I didn’t snap a picture of all the items nicely packaged. Our friendly delivery guy advised that the crabs are still alive, and I should pop them in a bucket of salted water. Nice. Upon inspection, most of the crabs were alive, and they were happily blowing bubbles in my bucket. 1kg worth of sea crabs worked out to be seven crabs. Just the right amount for my family of four’s dinner.
Next…the most important purchase, my grouper. Did it meet my expectations? It EXCEEDED my expectations. The eyes was SO SO SO clear!! The layer of slim (again another way of telling if the fish was fresh) was definitely evident. Immediately i prepped my fish (rinsed, salt and peppered) and popped it into the fridge while I prepped the rest of the ingredients for dinner.
T hat night, we ate very well. We had Steamed Grouper Cantonese Style (the soya mix version of steamed fish) and some Flower Crabs infused with Taucheo. The taucheo enhanced the sweetness of the crabs. And the crabs were a real delight to eat. The meat just came off clean from the shell. None of them were mushy and everyone at the dinner table agreed that they were very good. Dad loved the steamed grouper so much, he couldn’t get enough. This coming from a man who is SUPER picky about the quality of the fish he eats. The meat was firm, came off the remaning bones (the grouuper was butterflied) easily and it definitely did not taste muddy which can be a concerned when it comes to farmed fish.
Overall verdict? Yes I will be ordering from them again. Two thumbs up for quality AND service.
For those who are keen to try Ah Hua Kelong out, but a lil unsure how to steam the fish…here’s what I did with my 600g fish which you can try out too!
1 x 600g grouper (you can substitute it with their sea bass or pomphret)
1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
1/2 teaspoon light soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
1 1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
6 tablespoon hot water
1/3 teaspoon sesame oil
3 green onion, white bits choped long, green bits thinly sliced
4cm younger cut into slices
3 garlic cloves, skin off and bruised
1) Place the white portion of the spring onion, garlic (reserve one clove), ginger (reserve two slices) at the base of a heat proof plate.
2) Make two vertical incisions into the thickest part of the fish. Flip the other side, and repeat. Rub the fish belly with white pepper and lay it on a heatproof plate. Start getting the water to a rolling boil in a steamer.
3) Once the water is at a rolling boil, combine the water, soya sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and sesame oil and pour over the fish. (taste the soya mixture before pouring over the cod. It should not be overly salty nor sweet. tweek accordingly)
4) Place the reserved garlic and ginger and the green bits of the spring onion on top of the cod.
5) Place in the steamer for 7 minutes. (DO NOT OPEN THE LID)
6) Serve immediately with some stir fried chinese greens and white rice.
(NOTE: This cooking timing is for a non butterflied fish seeing as not everyone likes to butterfly their fish)
To check out more about Ah Hua Kelong and how to order, go to: http://ahhuakelong.com/
For more about my cooking classes etc, go to: https://www.facebook.com/CulinaryNess/events?key=events