Authentic Singaporean Chili Crab: A Flavorful Seafood Feast

Authentic Singaporean Chili Crab - Easy Home Cooked Recipe

Dive into the vibrant flavors of Singapore with this mouthwatering chili crab recipe. Succulent hard-shelled crabs are bathed in a rich, spicy-sweet tomato sauce that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of Southeast Asia.

Chili crab is more than just a dish – it’s a culinary adventure that captures the essence of Singaporean cuisine. This iconic recipe, born in the 1950s, has evolved from a family favorite to the unofficial national dish of Singapore. Now, you can recreate this hawker center classic in your own kitchen, adjusting the heat and sweetness to your liking.

While dining out on chili crab can be a pricey affair, making it at home allows you to indulge in this delicacy without breaking the bank. The rich seafood flavor that develops as the crab cooks in the sauce is simply unmatched. Get ready to roll up your sleeves, because this hands-on meal is all about savoring every last morsel of delicious crab meat!

Irresistible Singaporean Chili Crab Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon (8g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) water
  • 7 tablespoons (104ml) peanut oil
  • 2 to 3 whole shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2-inch knob ginger, grated (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 Thai chiles, minced
  • 2 whole live Mud or Dungeness crabs (about 1 pound each), prepared (see notes)
  • 2 cups (500ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup (66g) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) hot-sweet chili sauce (see notes)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sugar, to taste
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Rice or steamed buns to serve on side


  1. Start by creating a slurry: whisk cornstarch with 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large wok or Dutch oven over medium heat until it shimmers. Add shallots, ginger, garlic, and chiles, stirring until the aromatics release their fragrance, about 1 minute.
  2. Introduce the crab pieces and broth to the wok. Crank up the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover loosely and let it simmer gently for about 6 minutes, or until the crab turns a vibrant red and is nearly cooked through. Adjust the heat if needed to maintain a gentle boil.
  3. Uncover the wok and incorporate the tomato paste and chili sauce. Let the flavors meld for 1 minute, then season to your liking with salt, sugar, or additional chili sauce. Pour in the cornstarch mixture and bring the sauce to a boil, allowing it to thicken into a luscious consistency.
  4. Remove from heat and gently whisk in the beaten egg, creating silky ribbons throughout the sauce. Toss in the green onions for a fresh pop of color and flavor. Transfer your creation to a serving dish, garnish generously with cilantro, and serve immediately for a true Singaporean feast.


Prepare your crabs by rinsing them thoroughly, cleaning, and cutting into pieces. For a visual guide, check out the Sydney Fish Market’s instructional video, or ask your fishmonger to do the prep work. Pro tip: Keep the flavorful creamy part inside the top shell to enhance the dish’s authentic crab flavor. If using a wok, ensure it’s stable on your stovetop.

We recommend using ABC brand hot chili sauce for an authentic taste. While the recipe is balanced as-is, feel free to adjust the seasoning to achieve your perfect harmony of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors.

Caution: The sauce may contain small bits of shell, so savor carefully!

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
896 Calories
53g Fat
67g Carbs
41g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 896
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 53g 68%
Saturated Fat 10g 48%
Cholesterol 190mg 63%
Sodium 911mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 67g 24%
Dietary Fiber 5g 17%
Total Sugars 44g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 38mg 191%
Calcium 180mg 14%
Iron 4mg 23%
Potassium 1535mg 33%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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