Singapore Chilli Crab - Sauce

Singapore Chilli Crab





30 min


25 min



Singapore Chilli Crab 

The Recipe Intro includes step by step pictures. Check it out.

read the recipe introduction 300x81 Singapore Chilli Crab

Singapore Chilli Crab 1 300x265 Singapore Chilli Crab


  • 800 gms ‏Srilankan mud crabs or I used 3 flower crabs
  • 5 + 2 Tbsp ‏oil
  • 2 ‏eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp ‏black bean sauce (I used Lee Kum Kee)
  • 500 ml ‏water or stock of choice
  • 3 Tbsp ‏spring onion greens, chopped
  • ¼ cup ‏tomato puree
  • ¼ cup ‏tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp ‏cornflour / cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp cool water
  • 1 Tbsp ‏butter - optional

For the chilli paste (Rempah):

  •  5- 6 ‏long red chillies
  • 10 ‏shallots
  • 6 large cloves ‏garlic
  • 2 pieces of ‏ginger, peeled ( each about the size of a large clove of garlic)
  • 1 piece of ‏galangal,peeled  (about the size of a large clove of garlic)
  • 1 stalk of ‏lemongrass - only the tender section, cut into rings
  • 3 generous Tbsp ‏tomato paste (not to be confused with tomato puree or sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp ‏rice vinegar - or white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp - 1 tsp ‏belachan (shrimp paste- according to taste)
  • 1 tsp ‏dried shrimp
  • 4 tsp ‏sugar or palm sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ‏salt or to taste

For Garnish:

  • As needed, ‏spring onion greens( cut julienne )
  • As needed, ‏red chilli (seeded - cut julienne )
  • As needed, ‏fresh coriander ( chopped )


Prepare the Rempah (spice paste):

  1. Add all the ingredients ‘for the chilli paste (rempah) ‘ to a  blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Heat 5 Tbsp or more in a well seasoned wok and add the rempah.
  3. Fry on medium heat, till the paste gets cooked and the raw smell dissipates.
  4. The longer the paste is fried, the deeper the color of the paste becomes and the better flavor.
  5. Add the black bean paste and continue frying briefly.
  6. Stir in salt to taste.
  7. When the paste is nice and smooth and thick, remove from the wok. Set aside.

Prepare the Crab.

  1. Crab is best bought alive and placed in the freezer. This immobilizes them and puts them to sleep calmly.
  2. Flip up the tail (apron) section from the underside of the crab. Discard.
  3. With you thumb under the corner of the head shell, pry the shell open.
  4. Remove the spongy gills, as well as the mandibles(mouth section) if you prefer.
  5. Once cleaned, I like to rinse each crab once – quickly.
  6. The top shell is used for aesthetic presentation. Rinse this too.
  7. Cut the crab through the centre, vertically.
  8. Separate the claw sections from the leg sections. Crack the claw section, with the back of your cleaver.
  9. Also cut the leg section further, into 4 segments.

Preparing the Singapore Chilli Crab :

  • Wipe the wok clean and add 2 Tbsp of oil. Bring to heat.
  • Add all the crab sections, including top shell and fry on high till it evenly becomes red in color all over.(About a minute)
  • Remove the fried crab and set aside.
  • Add the rempah paste back into the wok, and add water/stock. Bring to a boil.
  • Return the fried crab, cover and cook for 20 minutes on low-med heat.
  • Remove the crab sections from the sauce and set aside again.
  • Add the tomato puree and tomato ketchup. Stir through.
  • The chopped spring onion can be added now,followed by the cornflour- water mixture.
  • Now, quickly add the beaten egg and swirl through the sauce. Swirl the wok, dont stir. Allow it to set lightly through the sauce and add the butter now (if using).
  • Now you can either return the crab and toss it all together in the wok OR pour the sauce over the aesthetically plated crab (Place the head section over the top).
  • Garnish with the julienne sliced, chilli, spring onion greens and chopped coriander.
  • Usually served with fried Mantau Buns(  Steamed Chinese Buns).


Singapore Chilli Crab


  • To choose a fleshy crab: feel the underside. It should be tight and firm to the touch and not soft when pressed with fingers:this denotes there is not enough flesh.

Key Ingredients: Crab, Chilli, Shallot, Garlic  Ginger, Galangal Lemongrass, Tomato Paste, Tomato Puree/Sauce, Black Bean Sauce, Shrimp Paste, Dried Shrimp, Sugar, Salt, Oil, Spring Onion, Coriander.

Let us know if you tried itSingapore Chilli Crab  .

read the recipe introduction 300x81 Singapore Chilli Crab




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