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Singapore Chilli Crab


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Winter is a great time to cook this dish, mud crab comes down in price to around $25 a kilo.

We chip in with friends for a fun, finger licking feast.

This recipe is for 2 crabs weighing around a kilo each.

I buy males, on the day, they are a little cheaper, and keep them in the fridge to use that night.

Despatch the crabs buy driving a sharp knife at the point of the belly flap and wave it up and down.

Remove any string and clean off any mud.

Pull the belly flap down and using a small knife or fingers ease the shell up and away from the back legs, the rest of the shell comes off easily.

Remove the 'dead mans fingers' the mouth parts and any brown guts.

Quarter the crabs and slightly smash the claws and forearm.

You need:

3 tablespoons of fresh peeled garlic

2 tablespoons of fresh peeled ginger

1 teaspoon of lemongrass, (the whiter part towards the base)

1/2 a medium onion

8 tablespoons of oil

3/4 cup of tomato sauce

1/4 cup of sweet chilli sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar

2 cups of water ( if you increase the recipe for more crabs don't add much more water)

2 cleaned and quartered mud crabs

1 beaten egg

1 Vienna bread loaf ,warm and crusty

Blend the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, onion and chillies to a fine paste, using 1/2 cup of water to moisten.

Heat the oil in a large wok, add the blended paste and stir fry until its fragrant.

Add the tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, salt, sugar and water. Stir, and when it comes to the boil, add the crab.

Reduce to a simmer, cover and stir occasionally for 15 to 18 minutes.

Turn off the heat, remove the crab to a serving platter, and add the beaten egg to the sauce and mix well.

Pour the sauce over the crab and serve hot with the crusty bread on the table.

You may also need crab tools, hand washing bowls with water and lemon and a bib.

Don't use your good tablecloth.


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That sounds great and has my mouth watering. However coming from a Singaporean family may I suggest a few modifications :)

Quickly deep or shallow fry the crab first to get a nice crust around the crab (a light dusting of rice flour also helps). Don't cook the crab all the way through. Then remove from the crab from the pan with most of the oil, make your sauce then return the crab to finish the cooking.

I'd also omit the sweet chilli sauce and use bottled minced chilli paste instead.

Other than that your recipe sounds spot on, right down to the bread!

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Hi panger.

Thanks for the tips.

I like the idea of dusting with flour and quick frying, that will really make the sauce stick.

The minced chilli paste would make me sweat, but sounds more authentic.

I'll ease myself into it.



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The frying first also creates a better flavour similar to sealing off meat at the start of a casserole. My dear late mother would always pull a grumpy face if she was ever served chilli crab that wasn't fried first. She'd tell the difference the instant the crab touched her tongue and the culinary insults would follow soon after lol

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Hi Luke

I'd go with 3 for 4 people, around 800g to 1kg.

Sounds like a lot, but there is a bit of weight in the shell

Just watch the water you add when you increase the recipe.

I'd start with 2 1/2 cups if you increase for 3 crabs.

The more crabs the more water comes out of them.

Bon appetite

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