Sunday, June 29, 2008

Lil' Sis's 21st Birthday Bash

While dining recently at The Boiling Crab - Alhambra, I mentioned to lil' sis and her best friend that I saw crawfish for $4.99/lb and rock crab for $1.89/lb at the San Gabriel Superstore. So cheap! So tired of paying $14.99/lb for Dungeness crab, and because my last two visits have been rather lackluster, I said we should try making it at home.

Because lil' sis was turning 21, it would be a big seafood birthday bash. Unfortunately, on the day of the event, when I went to the store, there were no crawfish to be found. :( So I bought 8 crabs (Only $14.27!), 5 lbs of shrimp (I only cooked 3 lbs.), and 20 oysters (.49 cents each).

Lil Sis Birthday Bash 1

Cousin Q made the chocolate panna cotta.

Lil' sis's best friend made the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies per her request since she didn't want a cake. II + I candles = 21 :P

Lil Sis Birthday Bash 2

Happy Birthday lil' sis! Now that you're legal, we can have a drink together! ;)

Last year, I was out of town entertaining Norwegian cousin, so I text messaged her Happy Birthday at midnight.

Lil' sis replied: "Aww thank you!!! I love u more than you'd ever realize."

Sounds sweet right? Except months later when I brought it up, lil' sis had no recollection of sending that message. For that matter, she was already wasted by midnight so she couldn't have sent it. She said it might have been the oldest '87 who replied. What? My cousin loves me more than I'd ever know? But my cousin said she didn't send the message either. So who exactly loves me? :(

We all got a good giggle out of the re-telling.

Since she goes to school several hours away, I make her text message me so I know she drove there safely. Most of the messages used to simply say, "I'm home."

But that evening she text messaged, "I love you more than you'd ever know! Even when it seems like I'm being cranky or mean, I still love you."

So I guess I can forgive her for sleeping the entire day away (She did her real partying the night before.), waking up just in time for dinner.

The total cost for this dinner that fed 10 people was literally half the cost of what we spent at Boiling Crab for 3 people.

So which recipe would you like to see first?
Singlong Black Pepper Sauce from Asian Supermarket 365

Cua Rang Muoi Tieu, Me, Gung, Hanh, Toi (Vietnamese Salt and Pepper Crab with Tamarind, Ginger, Scallions, and Garlic)
Cajun Vietnamese Shrimp Boil
Chinese Steamed Oysters with Black Bean and Scallion Sauce
Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 year ago today, revisiting Mission 261 - San Gabriel and Pinkberry - Rancho Cucamonga.


  1. Happy Happy birthday "Syobe"! (That's "little sis" in Fujian Chinese language) -- Ning

  2. Now that's good eating and Happy B-day lil' sis!

    I'm lovin' the spread of fresh seafood on newsprint and a bottle of tequila for shots galore!

  3. Happy birthday to WC's Lil' Sis! What a feast!

    I read Singlong Black Pepper Sauce for crab as "Singalong". Wow, cool, singalong sauce, thought me. That'd be a ball. How does it work I wonder? Then, in making my comment to request a recipe for singalong sauce, I realised my error. No singalong sauce.

  4. Happy Burpppday to your lil sis! Wow! What a fantastic feast.

    I wanna see the Cua Rang Muoi Me, Gung, Hanh first.

  5. Happy Birthday mui mui! :D She's lucky to have a sister that can cook with mad skillz.

  6. You're such a good big sister! Nothing better than a seafood feast! :)

  7. When I saw the picture of your feast, my first thought was "what's that on the oysters?". Black Bean Scallion Sauce - sounds interesting!

  8. I'd like to see the crab sauce first please! I like how you did the newspaper spread like at boiling crab. And those limes might be for the seafood, but I do see that tequila up there!

  9. What a great way to spend Lil Sis' 21st - everything sounds fabulous and in the comfort of your own home.

  10. Sounds wonderful!

    But um - what's rock crab? Is it small like blue crabs?

    Anywhoo, I'd love the recipe for Cua Rang Muoi Me, Gung, Hanh, Toi (Vietnamese Crab with Tamarind, Ginger, Scallions, and Garlic).

    You are SUCH a good sis!

  11. can't believe i missed the seafood bash =(

    again for fourth of july!?

  12. LoL I got to love the asian touch to the table ;-0 newspaper! I'm guilty of it too. My birthday is coming up soon :-D

  13. WC,

    Happy belated bday to ur lil sis...i am so envious. On that time can i and my husband come over for dinner? hauhauahauah...just kidding. (uhm i hope you got that joke)

    Btw...i see a pestle/pounder on the table. is that for the crabs...i love it, because that's what we use growing up, there's not such thing as a cracker or mallet back home.

    Whats in the bowl wrapped in plastic?

  14. I love the newspaper on the table! Perfect for a birthday party. Happy B-Day to your lil sis.

    I'd love to see the Cua Rand Muoi Me, Gung, Hanh, Toi first!

  15. WC, your posts make me miss my home in San Jose terribly :(
    It's gotten me to cook some Vietnamese (inspired) food for dinner tonight!
    PS. Please tell your sister happy birthday for me.

  16. Happy (belated) birthday to your lil sis. You have such a sweet sister.and what a feast you've got there. I haven't had cua rang muoi me, gung, hanh, toi for a good few years so I'd like to see that recipe first :D please

  17. Happy birthday, lil sis!

    WC - it's a toss up between the Viet crab and the steamed oysters with the black bean & scallion sauce - flipping a coin here, let's go with (drum roll...) the Vietnamese Crab!

    And it wouldn't hurt to tag on the recipe for those cookies, either...

  18. I like the bottle of Jose at the edge of the table:)

  19. Ning,
    That's great. I don't know any Fujianese.

    Haha. The newsprint is for easy clean-up. ;)

    But you can always singalong anyway. Actually the box logo says, "Singlong with you in mind." So I think they do want you to "singalong." :)

    They're nothing like your flower crabs but I think it's pretty good.


    Thanks. I AM such a good big sis! ;)

    The oyster recipe will come after the crab. Everyone else seems to want that first!

    Haha! Yes, limes served a dual purpose. But lil' sis was still queasy from the night before so the bottle is saved for the next party.

    She did her partying the night before. Otherwise, a dinner at home is a little too tame when you're turning 21. ;)

    Rock crabs have a harder shell but they're bigger than blue crabs. And they were only $1.89/lb!

    We'll see. Who's throwing the BBQ this year? I still got 2 lbs of shrimp left.

    I don't know if it's Asian to spread newspaper on the table. Just practical since there's shrimp, crab, and oyster shells to dispose of.

    Hahaha! Yeah, I got your joke. Yup, the pestles were for pounding since I don't have crab mallets. I have crab crackers too though. The bowls were cousin Q's chocolate panna cotta.

    That seems to be the popular demand so it'll come up soon.

    Awww, San Jose isn't very far away. You could go home to visit!

    Yeah! I AM a sweet sister. ;)

    Haha! All the recipes will come eventually!

    Of course! What else would you expect when you turn 21? ;)

  20. very nice! i've been to the boiling crab. :D but happy bday to lil sis, and i love ur blog more than u'll ever know.. ;)

  21. BC,
    Ha! Tell me! Tell me how much you love my blog so I know. ;)


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