The best chilli crabs with thick savoury sauce just like those served at hawker stalls in Singapore is rather easy to prepare at home. This flavourful dish is popular to the locals in Malaysia too.
Preparation 20 mins
Cooking 30 mins
|6||chilli peppers (fresh)|
|1 tbsp||fermented soybean paste (taucu)|
|1 tbsp||corn flour|
Nutrition per Serving
Look no further for an easy crab recipe. Authentic chilli crabs like those in Singapore can be recreated in your kitchen, anywhere in the world. This amazing dish is made using a paste which has all the five basic flavours namely sweetness, spiciness, sourness, saltiness and umami. Understandably, 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. It 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'.
Type of crabs
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!
How to humanely kill the crab?
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.
What is in the chilli crab sauce?
The chilli crab sauce has a combination of chillies, ginger, garlic, ketchup and most importantly, fermented soy beans. The gravy is then thickened and egg is added to it.
Steps to Prepare
Step 1 of 6
- 1 kg crab
Clean the crab. Scrub shell with a brush to ensure no impurities. Cut crab into quarters. Crack the shell slightly and leave aside.
Step 2 of 6
- 6 chilli peppers (fresh)
- 1 cm ginger
- 2 shallot(s)
- 8 garlic clove(s)
- 2 tbsp oil
Blend chillies, ginger and garlic and shallots. Heat oil in a pan over low heat. Then, sauté blended ingredients until fragrant.
Step 3 of 6
Add in the pieces of crab except for the upper section of the shell known as the carapace.
Step 4 of 6
- 1 tbsp fermented soybean paste (taucu)
- 300 g water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp salt
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
Step 5 of 6
- 1 tbsp corn flour
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 egg(s)
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.
Step 6 of 6
Dish it out and garnish with scallions and chilies. Serve with some fried steamed Chinese buns.
Published: September 26, 2016