Chilli crab is well known to be a very delightful, flavourful and delicious dish in Singapore and Malaysia. You can imagine how good it is as this amazing dish is even listed under CNN World's 50 Most Delicious Food in 2011.
Normally, mud crabs are commonly used to prepare this dish. In Germany, I was only able to get live brown crab instead but the result was still very delectable. You could even use soft shell crabs if that is your preference. I could also imagine some juicy and succulent prawns embedded in the sauce! This dish is cooked in a gravy which is thick, sweet and savoury with only a slight tinge of spiciness. Despite its name, this dish is actually not spicy. It is normally accompanied by steamed or deep fried Chinese buns also known as 'mantao'.
I have tried this dish once while on a trip to Singapore. I could not believe the deliciousness of the dish. To me, it is definitely an appetite booster too. The gravy especially goes so well with the crabs or even just plain white rice!
Of course, cleaning the crab was bothersome but it is necessary to ensure that all impurities are removed. Nevertheless, it was seriously well worth the effort when I tucked into this scrumptious dish!
Singapore-Style Chilli Crab is also known as: 辣椒螃蟹
Clean the crab. Scrub shell with a brush to ensure no impurities. Cut crab into quarters. Crack the shell slightly and leave aside.
Fry 'mantao' over medium heat until golden brown and set aside.
Blend chillies, ginger and garlic and shallots. Sauté blended ingredients in a pan until it is fragrant.
Add in the pieces of crab except for the upper section shell known as the carapace.
Then, add fermented bean paste and continue sautéing for 3 minutes. Add water to the pan and increase the heat to allow it to boil. Then, add sugar, tomato sauce and salt. Once it boils, place the carapace on top and cover with the lid. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes
Add in cornstarch mixture to thicken the gravy. Once gravy thickens, add beaten eggs to gravy and cook for 3 minutes.
Dish it out and garnish with scallions and chillies.