Singapore Chilli Crab

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Singapore Chilli Crab
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Learn to make this iconic Singaporean dish. It's not as difficult as it seems!
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Ingredient and Portion
2 Live medium Sri Lanka/mud crabs
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste (assam), soaked in 1 bowl of water.
1 tbsp assorted dry herb (optional): Bay leaves, anise star, allspice
4 tbsp cornflour solution (more if you prefer a thicker gravy consistency)

Chilli base paste:
4 clove Garlic
2 slice Ginger
3 shallot
½ red onion
4 chili padi
4 less spicy chili such as your average large normal chillies
3 dried chili, soaked until soft
1 tsp shrimp paste (aka beachan), toasted beforehand to bring out the smell.
1 tbsp Sichuan spicy bean chili paste
1. Thoroughly clean the crab and cut into pieces. Crack the claws with the back of your knife or a hammer.
2) Rub the crab pieces generously with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. This step removes any fishy smell that comes with the crabs.
3) Process all chili paste ingredients in a food processor until they turn into a paste.
4) The chili paste can be made ahead of the time. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
5) Rinse the crab pieces in running water to remove the salt.
6) Dry with paper towels and fry the crab pieces in a large wok with butter. Alternatively for those who prefer the easier, fuss-free method can steam the crab pieces. Do remember to reserve any remaining liquid in the steaming bowl which you can add on to the chilli gravy later.
7) In a wok, combine 2 tbsp of cooking oil with 4 tbsp of chili paste. Fry over low heat for 2 minutes.
Add ketchup, sugar, dry herbs (optional), and 1 cups of water + 1 bowl of tamarind water. Mix all ingredients and bring to boil. Continue to boil for another 5 minutes in low heat.
9) Add crab to the chili sauce and cook with a lid on. About 10 minutes. Occasional turn the crab with a spatula. Add salt to taste.
10) To thicken the sauce, add in cornflour solution here.
11) Pour in in beaten egg and stir well to mix the egg to resemble egg ribbons
11) Dish up and serve with fried mantou buns or hot rice.
How to prepare tamarind water:

Soak 2 tbsp of tamarind pulp into 1 bowl of warm water. Stir constantly to get the tamarind paste into the water as much as possible. The paste will slowly 'melt' off and reveal the tamarind seed pods. Strain the tamarind water through a sieve and discard the seed pods and any remnant fibres not dissolved in the water. The strained liquid is your tamarind water.
hushpuppy nice illustration with the pre and post cooking photos!
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