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The Singaporeans claim the Chili Crab as their national dish. As a good Malaysian, this was ^our^ dish! But since my good friend, Karina, gave me the original recipe for the dish, which I have now adapted to the abundance of this side of the Pacific pond, and she lives in Singapore now, I will gladly attribute this dish as Singaporean.

When you fly into Changi, after a gruelling 16 hour flight, your food obssessed Singaporean friends (every Singaporean is a foodie) would say "Let's go for Chili Crabs" and before you can say no as you struggle with your jet-lag stupor, you are already at one of the outdoor, jumbo seafood restaurants on East Coast Road!

Chili Crabs are finger lickin' good. With the meaty Dungeness crab, you will have a little bit more crab meat to soak up the wonderful sauce and not be tempted to eat your fingers, too. Serve it with a loaf of baguette or horrors! toasted white wonderbread.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $3.05 view details
  • 6 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 10 tablespoons ketchup
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 egg whites, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large Dungeness crabs (2 ½ lbs each), each cut into 6-8 pieces each
  • Reserved crab roe from crab
  • 10 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 10 slices of ginger, sliced and julienned finely,
  • 4 tablespoons sugar or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, cut into 2 inches sprigs
  • 1 cup scallions, green and white, julienned into 2 inches strips


  1. Preparing the sauce ingredients mise-en-place: Mix chili sauce, ketchup, vinegar and 2 cups of water together; set aside. Beat egg whites with water; set aside. Mix cornstarch with water; set aside.
  2. Preparing the crab. Ask your fishmonger to kill and clean the shellfish for you, but you must cook it within 2-3 hours of killing. Otherwise, kill the fresh crab by stabbing it in the soft part of its underside. Remove gills (dead man’s fingers) and innards. Clean and pat dry the crab. Cut each crab into 6 pieces Reserve the crab roe.
  3. Cooking the crab: Heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil in wok. Fry the crab pieces including crab roe till bright vermillion red and fragrant. Remove crabs from wok to a large bowl. Do not wash wok!
  4. Using the same wok, and high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil and brown garlic, ginger till fragrant; about 2 minutes.
  5. Add chili-ketchup sauce mixture. Bring to boil and add sugar and salt to taste. Drizzle on egg white in large circles, wait half a minute then stir to get silky threads of whites. Add cornstarch mixture and stir to thicken.
  6. Add back the crab to the wok. Mix well. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. If the sauce is too thick, add a little more water. The sauce should coat the crab.
  7. Toss in the cilantro and scallions, leaving a small handful for garnish. Serve immediately and garnish with more cilantro and scallions.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 233g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 240  
Calories from Fat 110 46%
Total Fat 12.47g 16%
Saturated Fat 0.97g 4%
Trans Fat 0.05g  
Cholesterol 32mg 11%
Sodium 925mg 39%
Potassium 398mg 11%
Total Carbs 22.18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0.8g 3%
Sugars 14.6g 10%
Protein 10.77g 17%



  • Linda Tay Esposito
    September 23, 2008
    Andrea: Try making this when the crab season hits in November. You can't go back to bay seasoning after this!
    • Andrea Faz
      June 23, 2008
      this looks absolutely....DELICIOUS!

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