Grandma Lee’s Singapore Chilli Crab

Crabs served in a mild, tangy chilli sauce.

Use high-quality live crabs, preferably Sri Lankan, to get the best out of this recipe. As an alternative, crabs can be substituted with lobsters or prawns, both of which go well with the spicy, tangy sweetness of the sauce. Slices of French bread (baguette), fried and/or steamed Chinese buns (mantou) or rice is often served on the side so that you can soak up the gravy.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1.2-1.8 kg crabs
  • 1 egg
  • 8 Tbsp oil
  • Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Rempah

  • 4 slices ginger (halia)
  • 4 cloves garlic (bawang putih)
  • 8 fresh red chillies
  • Alternatively, substitute the red chillies, garlic, sugar and salt with 1 jar of Cilicuka Original

PREPARATION:

  1. Prepare the crabs. Submerge the live crabs in ice cold water to immobilise them. Alternatively, place them in the freezer for 30 min or pierce the main cavity with a chopstick. Thoroughly rinse the crab. Remove the pincers, the flap on the underside, then the back. Remove the spongy grey matter but retain the roe, if any. Chop the crabs into half then into smaller pieces, leaving the legs attached. Using a hammer or Chinese cleaver, crack the shell in several places (so that it will be easier to extract the meat later).
  2. Beat the egg.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together.
  4. Prepare the rempah. Peel the ginger and garlic, then roughly chop together with the chillies. Pound/grind the rempah ingredients together.

METHOD:

  1. Heat a wok over a high flame until it smokes. Add the oil.
  2. Stir-fry the crab for 2 min then remove.
  3. Over a medium flame, stir-fry the rempah for 2 min.
  4. Return the crab to the wok then add the sauce. Toss together.
  5. Turn off the flame then stir the beaten egg in. Serve immediately.

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