Look no further for an easy crab recipe. Authentic chilli crab like in Singapore can be recreated in your kitchen, anywhere in the world! This crab dish is made out of a paste which has all the five basic taste of sweet, spicy, sour, salty and umami! There is a reason why it is listed #29 under CNN World’s 50 Most Delicious Food in 2017.
Despite its name, this dish is actually not spicy. This gravy is cooked in a gravy which is thick, sweet and savoury with only a slight tinge of spiciness. It is normally accompanied by deep fried or steamed Chinese buns also known as 'mantao'.
Normally, mud crabs are used to prepare this dish. In Germany, I was only able to get live brown crab instead but the result was still amazing. You may even use soft shell crabs if that is your preference. Use your creativity. I could also imagine some juicy and succulent prawns embedded in the sauce!
Cleaning the crab was bothersome but it is necessary to ensure that all impurities are removed. However, the first hurdle was to kill the crab. To do so, place the live crab in the freezer for 20 minutes. This will make them ‘sleep’. You can then quickly chop them up and cook immediately.
The chilli crab sauce combines chillies, ginger, garlic, ketchup and most importantly, fermented soy beans. The gravy is then thickened and egg is added to it.
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.
Blend chilies, ginger and garlic and shallots. Heat oil in a pan over low heat. Then, sauté blended ingredients until it is fragrant.
Add in the pieces of crab except for the upper section of the shell known as the carapace.
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, ketchup and salt. Once it boils, place the carapace on top and cover with the lid. Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes
Mix cornstarch and water. Then, add to pan 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 chilies. Serve with some fried steamed Chinese buns.