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Singapore Chilli Crab

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Published under: CrabSingapore
The dish is available at most Singaporean restaurants but if you want to taste it at its best, eat it from the hawker stalls or food courts only.

The Singapore Chilli Crab is a dish that has been around for centuries. It’s a dish that consists of large crabs, a spicy sauce, and some other ingredients.

The Singapore Chilli Crab is one of the most famous dishes in Singapore. This dish was first introduced to the world by Chinese migrants in the early 1900s who settled in Singapore and Malaysia after being forced out of China by warlords. They created this dish using local ingredients such as black pepper, shrimp paste, and chillies.

In recent years, the restaurant scene has grown tremendously with many new chefs opening up restaurants dedicated to their own unique take on this iconic dish.

The show’s star is the fresh, meaty crab, cooked to perfection and generously coated in a luscious sauce infused with aromatic spices, chilli peppers, garlic, and tomato paste. The sauce strikes a delicate balance between heat and flavour, offering a thrilling culinary experience that will leave you craving more. Each bite reveals a symphony of tastes and textures, with the tender crab meat complemented by the bold and vibrant sauce.

Singapore Chilli Crab

Singapore Chilli Crab

Singapore Chilli Crab
5 from 2 votes

Singapore Chilli Crab

The dish is available at most Singaporean restaurants but if you want to taste it at its best, eat it from the hawker stalls or food courts only.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Singapore
Keyword: seafood


  • 1 to 1.25 kg Crabs
  • 1/2 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 Egg small, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 tbsp Cornflour mixed with 2 tblsp water
  • as per taste Salt
  • 1/2 tsp White Pepper Powder
  • 1 Spring Onions chopped
  • for frying Oil

For the Sauce:

  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1 Onion - 1 finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 inch Ginger sliced
  • 2 tsp Light Soy Sauce
  • 2 Red Chillies sliced
  • 1 Tomato chopped
  • 2 tbsp Chilli Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp White Pepper Powder


  • Clean and quarter the crabs.
  • Pat dry.
  • Heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium flame.
  • Deep fry the crabs for 3 minutes or until the shells turn bright red.
  • Remove and keep aside to drain.
  • In a separate frying pan, add 2 tblsp of oil.
  • Saute the garlic, ginger, onion, soy sauce and red chillies for a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes, chilli sauce, ketchup, sesame oil and sugar.
  • Stir to mix well and simmer for 1 minute.
  • Sprinkle pepper powder and stir again.
  • Add the crabs to the pan and mix until evenly coated with the sauce.
  • Add the chicken stock and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add the egg and cornflour mixture.
  • Cook until the sauce thickens.
  • Season with salt and pepper powder.
  • Garnish with spring onions.
  • Serve with hot rice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Singapore Chilli Crab

What is the level of spiciness in Singapore Chilli Crab?

The spiciness level in Singapore Chilli Crab can vary depending on personal preference and the recipe used. Traditionally, Singapore Chilli Crab is moderately spicy, featuring a harmonious balance of heat and flavours. The dish typically incorporates fresh red chilli peppers, garlic, and ginger, which lend a pleasant spiciness without overwhelming the taste buds. However, the intensity of the spiciness can be adjusted by adding more or fewer chilli peppers or by including milder varieties of chilli.

If you prefer a milder version, you can deseed the chilli peppers or reduce the chilli used in the recipe. On the other hand, if you enjoy a fiery kick, you can include hotter chilli varieties or increase the number of chilli peppers. Remember, the level of spiciness can also be adjusted by adding or reducing the amount of chilli sauce or chilli paste used in the dish. It’s always a good idea to taste the sauce as you cook and adjust it according to your preference.

Can I substitute crab with another type of seafood in Singapore, Chilli Crab?

While crab is the star ingredient of Singapore Chilli Crab, you can experiment with other types of seafood to create delicious variations of the dish. The rich and flavorful chilli sauce can complement a range of seafood options. Some popular alternatives to crab in Singapore Chilli Crab include prawns, shrimp, lobster, or a combination of different seafood.

When substituting crab with other seafood, it’s essential to consider the cooking time and texture of the seafood. Prawns or shrimp, for example, cook relatively quickly and can be added towards the end of the cooking process to prevent overcooking. On the other hand, lobster may require a longer cooking time to ensure it is fully cooked and tender.

Remember to adjust the cooking time and method based on your chosen seafood. The flavorful chilli sauce of Singapore Chilli Crab can beautifully coat and enhance the taste of various seafood options, allowing you to create a mouthwatering dish tailored to your preferences.

Is Singapore Chilli Crab a spicy dish?

Yes, Singapore Chilli Crab is known for its bold and vibrant flavours, including spiciness. The dish incorporates chili peppers and sauce, contributing to its characteristic heat. However, the level of spiciness can be adjusted according to personal preference. If you prefer a milder version, you can reduce the number of chilli peppers or use milder varieties. On the other hand, if you enjoy a spicier kick, you can increase the number of chilli peppers or include hotter chilli varieties. The balance of spiciness can be customized to suit your taste buds.

It’s important to note that the chilli sauce used in Singapore Chilli Crab also contains other ingredients, such as garlic, ginger, and tomato paste, which help to mellow out the spiciness and add depth to the flavours. The result is a delicious combination of sweet, savoury, and spicy elements that create a memorable dining experience.

If you enjoy Singapore Chilli Crab, you may also appreciate other spicy seafood dishes such as Szechuan-style prawns or Thai chilli basil seafood stir-fry. These dishes showcase the bold flavours of chilli and seafood, offering a delightful culinary adventure for spice lovers.

1 comment

Avatar of pravin
pravin July 7, 2016 - 6:36 pm

Singapore Chilli Crab looks heavenly! I so want to hog this right away! Will be whipping it up soon. Thanks buddy for sharing the recipe! 🙂


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