Singapore Chilli Crab
This is an extremely popular dish at Seafood Centres in Singapore & was apparently, created by a local chef in the early ’50s for the restaurant he ran with his wife. We used to frequent the one by the beach on the East Coast that housed a few of these restaurants specializing in everything seafood. My favourites were the chilli crab & the crispy baby squid! I remember having a meal one evening and deciding that I was going to replicate the dish first chance I had. As we ate, we all tried to discern the various tastes that were hitting us to help me in my quest. I think we were a party of about 10 but my friends weren’t much use because apart from one other, they were all either British or Aussie expats who at that time couldn’t have spotted a lemongrass if it hit them in the face!
I pretty much got the recipe on the first try! This is it!
Ingredients (serves 4)
Grind to a paste
1 medium onion
1 fresh red chilli (this will give a Goldilocks heat rate – not too hot, not too cold but just right!), adjust as wished
3 cloves garlic
5 cm/2″ fresh ginger
2 tablespoon taucheo (soybean paste) or use same amount of hoisin sauce (found in supermarkets)
2 live medium sized crabs (about 2 kg) – cooked just isn’t the same
2 tbs tomato ketchup
2 tbs tamarind (found in supermarkets)
2 tbs veg oil
salt to taste
100-200 mls water (really depends on how much sauce you like, I like lots! for the rice!)
1 tbs chopped coriander & chives
You’ll need a large wok.
1. Clean and chop crab.
2. Heat oil in a large wok and fry the ingredients until fragrant.
3. Add the tomatoes, water, ketchup, tamarind then crabs and give it a good stir. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Add salt if needed and sugar if too spicy, cover and cook until crabs are red, another 3-5 minutes.
5. Garnish with the herbs and serve with rice.