Authentic Singaporean Chilli Crab. So sorry about the late posting. It has been a crazy month for me. So this post, it’s all about crabs! Before, I was never a ‘crab’ fan; well, at least it is not my number one favorite shellfish. I tend to prefer prawns and lobsters over crabs. Don’t ask me why. It’s just simply weird to me.
Way back last year, I decided to visit Malaysia and Singapore for our Christmas trip. One of the dishes that I expected to try was the Singaporean Chilli Crab. I was so keen on tasting this famous crab dish that he even went online, surfing websites and restaurant reviews about the 5 best places for this Singaporean Chilli Crab.
When I arrived in Singapore, I threw my luggage into the service apartment and jumped straight onto the train for that (so-called) famous Singaporean crab~ The crab was a hassle for me (well, at first glance), but after that first bite~ YESHH.. I cannot stop eating! I had a king crab, GIGANTIC! I was a little in doubt whether I could actually finish it ~ Seriously??
The sauce was awesome. In fact, that was the only thing that brought me to try this big Singaporean Chilli Crab! I must admit that Asian food is GREAT, and I’m so honored to try this Asian dish! This Singaporean dish is absolutely delicious. The crab meat is juicy and fresh (don’t forget to get a good crab cracker), and the spicy sauce was not that spicy after all. For some reason, they cracked an egg into the sauce, which makes it taste even richer!
So the other day, I was tempted to have another crab dish~ and I thought, why not try our own DIY Singaporean Chilli Crab.. and I did.. I went and bought 2 mud crabs from the fish market~ I’ve looked for a few websites for the best recipe..(try to be authentic here..) but ended up having to mix and match a bit of everything to get to the flavor that I feel right!
I even served it with deep-fried buns (well, that’s what I’ve learned from the Singaporeans, dipping the buns into the chilli sauce!) Yum! Oh, and no KING crabs.. I had mud crabs instead.. which is still FINE!
Authentic Singaporean Chilli Crab
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 7 tablespoons cooking oil
- 3 small shallots cut into 5cm long
- 2 inch ginger grated
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 4 small red chili minced
- 2 whole Mud crabs cut into pieces
- 2 cups chicken stock store-bought or homemade
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ½ cup hot-sweet chili sauce
- 1 large egg beaten
- ½ cup onions finely sliced
- 1 teaspoon lime juice or lemon juice
- 1 cup parsley for garnish
- 8 small Chinese buns optional
- 4 cups cooked rice optional, to serve
To make the Singaporean Chilli Crab:
- In a small bowl, stir cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water; set aside.
- Wash crab pieces carefully with a brush to remove sand and dirt. Rinse twice and pat dry with absorbent papers. Set aside.
- In a large wok, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Stir in shallots, ginger, garlic, onions, and chilies. Cook until fragrant, stirring, about 1 minute.
- Add crab pieces and chicken broth, stir in tomato paste and chilli sauce. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover loosely and gently boil until the crab has turned red and is nearly cooked through about 6 minutes.
- Remove cover and season to taste with salt, sugar, or pepper. Stir in corn starch mixture to thicken the sauce.
- Break eggs into the wok and streak with a fork. Simmer till cooked. Squeeze lime juice over.
- Ladle into a serving dish, sprinkle with Chinese parsley, and serve with rice or buns.
To make deep-fried buns:
- In a deep pan, add enough oil for deep frying. Until the temperature of the oil reaches 180°C, slowly slide the steam buns into the pan.
- Cook until golden brown, approximately 3-4 minutes. Turn the buns to evenly golden the surfaces.
- Remove the oil and sit on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Ensure crabs need to be rinsed well, cleaned, and cut into pieces and possibly, get fresh crabs rather than frozen. The texture is far different from fresh and frozen.
- If you are not confident with cutting up a crab, I suggest you get the fish shop to do it for you. It’s not easy at all.
- I quite like to use the hot-sweet chilli sauce just because I like the taste of sweetness. If you prefer chilli hot, omit this and replace it with tomato paste and extra chilli.
- If you prefer to use soft-shell crabs instead of fresh mud crabs, cut the soft-shell crab into 4 pieces and cover them with plain flour. Deep fry in hot oil and add to the sauce in step 5. After the sauce thickens, omit the mud crab.
- If you like, king crabs are even better, with a lot more fresh meat, but they are more expensive.