Chili crab is a very popular dish in Singapore and Malaysia. Although I’ve never tried making it myself before, I discovered a post card that was made to publicize this signature dish for The Singapore Food Festival last year, and I thought I’d share it with everyone (with some minor edits & corrections to a couple of what I think were errors in the recipe along with some additional notes) …

Chili Crab
(Edited from recipe printed on a post card made for The Singapore Food Festival 2011. My edits are in italics.)

Photo of Chili Crab
Image from

1.2kg crab (mud crab, Dungeness crab, or other edible crab)
800mL water
1 cup tomato ketchup
1 Tablespoon light soya sauce (this was omitted from the original list of ingredients but mentioned in the method … I think this is the amount needed)
1 teaspoon corn starch (or potato starch)
2 teaspoons room temperature water to mix with the starch
1 egg, beaten
1 chili, thinly sliced
2 stalks Chinese celery (also known as coriander leaves or Chinese parsley), thinly sliced

Chili Sauce
10g chili padi, minced or blended with the red chilies (also called Thai chili or bird’s eye chili … you can omit this if you can’t find any or for a less spicy sauce)
10g lemongrass (if you can’t find any, substitute with lemon zest)
100g red chili, minced or blended with a bit of water
10g garlic, minced
100g shallots, minced
50g red onion, minced
20g ginger, minced
50g peanuts, ground
200 mL vegetable oil

This sauce is good for 1 crab up to 1.2kg in weight.

1. Open crab to remove all inedible parts. Cut crabs into 8 pieces. Crack the pincers slightly with a meat mallet or the back of chopping knife. Wash and set aside.

2. Heat oil then add chili sauce ingredients for 3 minutes.

3. Add water till boil.

4. Mix the chili sauce, tomato ketchup, light soya sauce and 800mL water together.

5. Add in crab pieces, ensure all the pieces are submerged in the sauce and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat with the lid covered.

6. Lower to low heat and simmer for another 18 minutes with the lid covered.

7. Dissolve the corn/potato starch in 2 teaspoons room temperature water. Stir the dissolved corn/potato starch into the sauce to thicken it.

8. Turn the heat to high and gently stir in the beaten eggs evenly.

9. Wait for sauce to simmer then serve the chili crab hot with steamed white rice and/or bread (deep fried Chinese buns called “man tou”, dinner rolls or just simple sliced white bread.