Singapore Chili Crab

While living in Singapore, there was one dish that I couldn’t live without: the Chili Crab. It’s messy and impossible to eat gracefully, but extremely rich and flavorful. The sauce is so good that you’ll be reaching for mini mantou buns to mop up any that happens to be left.

Singapore Chili Crab

Mud crabs are typically used for this dish due to their high yield. However, I used Dungeness crab since it was readily available in my local supermarket. I also have a confession to make… I cheated a bit. My favorite Singapore Chili Crab had lots of crab meat in the sauce, in addition to the eggs. This made the sauce almost a meal in itself. For my recipe, I added about 4 ounces of additional lump crabmeat.

Singapore Chili Crab
  • 2 large crabs
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp grated ginger
  • 3½ cups chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp hot bean paste
  • 4 tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 oz lump crab meat (optional)
  • cilantro to garnish
For the Chili Ginger Sauce:
  • 6 red chillies
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  1. If using whole crabs, halve the crabs lengthwise and remove the back and grey matter.
  2. Remove the claws and crack them open with a mallet or crab cracker. Cut each half of the crab into 2 pieces, keeping the legs attached to the body. This will make the crab much easier to eat. Set aside.
  3. Blend all of the ingredients for the chili ginger sauce together in a blender and set aside.
  4. Heat the oil in a large wok over medium high heat and stir-fry the shallots for about a minute. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to fry until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Add the Chili Ginger Sauce, chicken stock, bean paste, sweet chili sauce, tomato sauce, sugar, rice wine, salt, and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the crab pieces to the wok and simmer until cooked. For raw crab, cook about 10 minutes. For precooked crab, cook about 4 minutes or until heated through.
  6. Mix the cornstarch with the 4 tablespoons of water. Add the cornstarch mixture to the wok and stir until the sauce thickens. Add the lump crab meat and the eggs and stir gently until the eggs set. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately with rice or bread.



Do you have a recipe for mini mantou buns?


I've never made them myself, but that's a great idea for an upcoming recipe!