I first learnt about this wicked cholesterol inducing crab fat paste from Amy Ma's guest post at Chubby Hubby's blog. I first tasted it on my first visit to Manila, Philippinnes this January at Chef Laudico Bistro Filipino. I then bought it at a supermarket at Makati - determined to experiment with it when I got home. I remember coming home from that trip excited by some of the food I had eaten there. I first made Corned Hash Rice and I gushed to Trissa of Trissalicious about how I was inspired to make the Ensaimada. (a brioche bread topped with butter cream, granulated sugar and shredded cheese - sinfully rich)
I also remember being puzzled by the way most people define Taba ng Talangka as crab fat. I have eaten countless crabs but I have not seriously seen any fat under the crab shell. Crab Roe/ Paste on the other hand is a prized ingredient that even the Chinese would gladly use for their high brow delicacy dishes. When I googled this fascinating ingredient, a slew of flatteringly disturbing descriptions popped up : wicked cholesterol hell, artery clogging, you-only-live-once - food descriptions which are almost always synonymous with comforting, deliciously orgasmic flavours... though an article suggests that it is may be a libido suppressant...
Popular dishes prepared with Taba ng Talangka are usually simple to make and include eating it with rice, (paella style) and cooking it with seafood pasta, to name just a couple. In Amy Ma's post, the chef had served the spaghetti with seared Hokkaido scallops, Chef Laudico served his linguini with calamari... and so it appears that this rich curd-like roe is best used to enhance the flavours of the sea.
When I finally got down to make this a couple of days ago, I decided to do it with vermecilli pasta and serve it with seared scallops. Feeling strangely sinful even before I started cooking, I felt oddly inhibited as I stared at the rich curd swimming in the even more oily fat ( the roe is prepared and preserved in copious amount of oil, salt, calamansi juice and what not). Perhaps it was because I had been over eating on my last business trip or perhaps it was due to the stubborn 3kg weight I had put on after I started blogging.... but whatever it was, a little voice was nagging inside me telling me that I SHOULDN'T eat this, that I have to be more disciplined in my food consumption.
I then modified Amy Ma's recipe and omitted the cream that was added to the pasta sauce to make it even richer and creamier. Without the cream, my pasta still retained the breezy flavour of the sea but it lacked the smooth, indulgent creaminess I had tasted at Chef Laudico's restaurant. The 'kick' was not there and I have to admit that despite all good senses and reasonings, some food are meant to be enjoyed in all its artery-clogging, cholesterol reeling, libido suppressing goodness - so, I will have to do this again the right way, without inhibitions and without regrets!
Recipe From http://chubbyhubby.net/blog/?p=584