Chilli crab

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Asian cuisine

Quick and easy

“Chilli crab is a Singaporean seafood dish. Mud crab are commonly used and are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chilli based sauce. Despite its name, chilli crab is not a very spicy dish. It is listed at number 35 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011. “The king of all crab dishes, this popular dish is served with the shell on, and is typically eaten with one’s hands. Make sure you have plenty of napkins handy – it’s messy work!″ Adam Liaw

Recreate the flavours of Singapore chilli crab at home. It’s a lot quicker and easier than you might think. Normally, mud crabs are commonly used to prepare this dish. In Perth, Australia, I chose to use fresh Mandurah blue swimmer crabs instead but the result was still very delectable. The last time I had Singaporean chilli crab was during my dad’s business trip when I was 19, I had just had my wisdom teeth removed. Even with stitches in my mouth, it didn’t stop me from over indulging and pigging out with my fingers at East Coast at Jumbo.

You will need:

6 live blue swimmer crabs
2 knobs of ginger
4-6 birds eye red chilli (add according to personal preference)
4 cherry tomatoes
Canola oil
1 tablespoon salted soya beans (taucheo), lightly pounded
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 glass water
1-2 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon cornflour (optional)
1 egg
Crab juice

Start by cleaning your crab, I keep the creamy part inside the top shell for the extra crab flavor that it lends to the dish. Leave the crabs  in a bowl in the fridge till it’s time for cooking. To making the sauce, blitz till smooth your chilli, ginger and cherry tomatoes. Pre-heat on medium to high heat your wok and add a drizzle of oil before adding the sauce, let it bottle till the sauce has a fragrant aroma. Add the lightly pounded salted soya beans, sugar, ketchup and mix thoroughly before adding the crab and what ever juices was left in the bowl. Add some water then gently mix the crab and it’s sauce before covering the wok with it’s lid and turning the heat to medium, till the crab looks bright orange in colour for 10-15mins. Remove cover and check for seasoning to taste with salt, sugar, or chili sauce. If the gravy hasn’t thickened, add some cornflour. Beat an egg to gravy and switch off the stove and serve right away.

Serve with either crusty bread, steamed buns or steamed rice.

The Author

Born into a family that love food, Kelsey inherited her cookery skills from both her grandmother and mother that enable her to prepare delicious home cooked meals.

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