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Savoring Singapore's Favorite: Chili Crab Recipe


Savoring Singapore's Favorite: Chili Crab Recipe

Chili Crab is a quintessential dish that embodies the bold flavors and culinary heritage of Singapore. This mouthwatering seafood delight combines succulent crab in a tangy, spicy chili-tomato sauce—a true treat for seafood lovers. Join us as we dive into the world of Chili Crab and learn how to prepare this iconic dish at home.

The Story Behind Chili Crab

Chili Crab holds a special place in Singaporean cuisine, known for its fusion of Chinese and Malay flavors. It's believed to have originated in the 1950s when a street hawker in Singapore experimented with combining chili, tomato sauce, and fresh crab—an instant hit that became a culinary sensation.

Ingredients for Chili Crab:

For the Chili Crab Sauce:

  • 2 whole mud crabs (or Dungeness crabs), cleaned and cracked
  • 5-6 red chilies, deseeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili sauce (e.g., sambal oelek)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup water or seafood stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped spring onions and cilantro (coriander), for garnish
  • Vegetable oil for cooking


1. Prepare the Chili Crab Sauce:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large wok or deep skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped red chilies. Stir-fry for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Stir in tomato paste, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and brown sugar. Cook for another minute.

2. Cook the Chili Crab:

  1. Add cleaned and cracked crab pieces to the wok, coating them evenly with the sauce.
  2. Pour in water or seafood stock, and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cover the wok and let the crab simmer in the sauce for 8-10 minutes, or until the crab shells turn red and the meat is cooked through.

3. Serve and Enjoy:

  1. Transfer the Chili Crab to a serving dish.
  2. Garnish with chopped spring onions and cilantro (coriander).
  3. Serve hot with steamed rice or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.

Cultural Insights:

Chili Crab is not just a dish—it's a cultural icon of Singapore. This flavorful creation represents the multicultural melting pot of Singaporean cuisine, blending Chinese cooking techniques with local spices and ingredients.

Experience Chili Crab at Home

Prepare Chili Crab in your kitchen and experience the vibrant flavors of Singapore. Whether it's a special occasion or a cozy family dinner, this dish will delight your taste buds and transport you to the bustling seafood markets of Singapore.

Share Your Chili Crab Adventure

Have you tried Chili Crab before? Share your cooking experience and love for this dish in the comments below. Let's celebrate the joys of culinary exploration and indulge in the flavors of Singaporean Chili Crab together!