Chilli Crab!

Hello everyone, it’s Nicholas again! I’m sure that by now everyone can guess that this post is about FOOD!

Recently, I was craving Singaporean food again. This time it wasn’t just specific dishes that I wanted to have, but the flavors that are commonly found in Singaporean cuisine. It became especially bad when I had this for lunch one day:

Singaporean style yakisoba?!?

My first reaction after taking a bite of it was: “This is not Singaporean style at all…”

After lunch that day, my mind went off on a food adventure, thinking of all the different Singaporean dishes that I could attempt to make in Japan. The only problem was that looking for the exact ingredients would be extremely tough.

This was when I remembered that I still had some sambal left over. While sambal is very versatile, there are some dishes that require it to be used as the base sauce. Then it hit me. What better ingredient to buy at this time of the year than –– crabs!

Although chilli crabs are generally cooked with Sri Lankan mud crabs, I couldn’t find any available. I had to make do with these crabs (which were not very cheap). So began my journey of preparing them for the feast.


And so began the cleaning and cooking of the crabs. I felt a lot of aminosity coming from the crabs, mainly because of how they looked, but for aesthetic purposes I made sure to take their best sides in the pictures. Even though there are so many restaurants in Singapore serving chilli crab, my favorite recipe still has to be my dad’s. There are two secrets in successfully cooking chilli crab. The first is that the crabs must first be steamed in garlic and butter(right) before the addition of the sambal. The second is the addition of just the right amount of ketchup.

Using a beaten egg to thicken up the sauce, I finally completed the masterpiece.

As with all my South East Asian cooking, this was devoured with my Indonesian neighbor who is always happy to share my food. Since this dish will probably not be cooked for another long while, we had to take a commemorative picture of the eaten crabs.

While the sauce was nailed, the crabs did not taste exactly like how I wanted them to. These crabs have a relatively soft shell as compared to Sri Lankan mud crabs and pack much less flavor.

Overall verdict: 3.5/5

I learnt why Sri Lankan mud crabs are traditionally used in this dish. Even if the sauce was perfect, the flavor of the crabs were different. But in terms of satisfying a craving, I would say that it works as effectively as a hot bath on a cold day.

Until my next food adventure!

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Nicholas Loh


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