Singapore Chilli Crab
(Singaporean crab in a spicy tomato-chili sauce)
Image by Jonas Lamis
4 to 6 servings
- Whole crab, cleaned and cut into quarters -- 3 to 4 pounds
- Shallots, peeled and chopped -- 4 or 5
- Red bird's-eye chili peppers, chopped -- 4 to 8
- Garlic, chopped -- 5 cloves
- Oil -- 3 tablespoons
- Shrimp paste (optional) -- 2 teaspoons
- Tomato puree -- 1 cup
- Soy sauce -- 3 tablespoons
- Vinegar -- 2 tablespoons
- Tomato paste -- 1 tablespoon
- Sugar -- 1/4 cup
- Salt -- to taste
- Water -- 1/2 cup
- Cornstarch -- 1 tablespoon
- Eggs, beaten -- 2
- Cilantro leaves, chopped -- 1/2 bunch
- Place the shallots, chilies and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add the oil to a wok or large pot over medium-high flame. Add the chopped shallots and chilies and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp paste and continue to stir fry until the vegetables are cooked down and their moisture is reduced somewhat.
- Stir in the tomato puree, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, sugar and salt. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add the crab and toss to coat. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the crab is cooked through and the shells turn red.
- Whisk the cornstarch with the 1/2 cup water. and stir into the simmering crab to lightly thicken the sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Add the beaten egg to the ingredients in the wok or pot and stir into the sauce.
- Pour the chilli crab into a warm serving dish and sprinkle with the chopped cilantro. Serve with a sliced baguette to sop up any extra sauce.
Singapore Chilli Crab Variations
- Types of Crab: In Singapore, mud crab is the most popular crab to use for chilli crab. Dungeness crab, stone crab, blue crab or most other types of crab will work well too.
- Substitute a yellow or red onion for the shallots if you like.
- Despite its name, chilli crab is usually only mildly spicy. Vary the amount of chilies to your taste.