Ingredients for Singapore Chilli Crab:
- 1 lb (450g) mud crabs or soft shelled crabs
- 4 tbsp plain flour if using soft shelled crabs
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil*
- 8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 8 fresh red chilli, roughly chopped
- 1 egg
- 2 spring onions (scallions), cut into finger length
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
- 1 small bunch coriander plant (cilantro)
Mix together for Sauce
- 1 cup of water, 5 tbsp tomato catsup, 1 1/2 to 3 tbsp sugar, or according to taste, 1 1/2 tsp cornflour, 1 tsp pounded brown preserved soya beans or dark miso (optional), 1/4 tsp salt
- Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat.
- Add garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the chilli, stir-fry till fragrant. For mud crabs, add at this stage. Fry well till shells start turning red, add sauce ingredients stir well, cover with lid and simmer till shells are red.
- Break eggs into the wok and streak with a fork, simmer till cooked. Squeeze lime juice over and stir in scallions.
- For soft-shelled crabs, cut each crab into four, dry well, dredge in flour and deep fry till golden brown and crispy. Make the sauce as above, but omit the mud crabs.
- Toss soft shelled crabs in sauce just before serving.
This unofficial ‘national dish’ is usually prepared with fresh succulent crabs in a hearty, sweet and spicy gravy and is best eaten with your fingers! Mop up the mouth-watering gravy with white bread or Chinese mantou (buns).
Photo Credit - Mervin Chiang
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