Thai chilli crab

    30 min

    Fresh crabs are cooked in a sweet, spicy sauce with ginger, garlic and shallots in this chilli crab dish that's eaten a lot in Malaysia. Forget the utensils and just use your hands to eat this. Have some toasted bread on the side to mop up the sauce.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 3 shallots, peeled
    • 4 red chilli peppers
    • 4 whole crabs, cleaned and quartered
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
    • 1 (1cm) piece fresh ginger, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
    • 2 tablespoons vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
    • 1 small bunch fresh coriander, stems removed and leaves chopped

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:15min  ›  Ready in:30min 

    1. Combine shallots and red chilli peppers in a food processor; pulse until a very fine paste forms.
    2. Crack the crab claws and the big legs slightly.
    3. Heat oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat until very hot; add crabs and cook until shells change colour and meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer crabs to a plate, reserving oil in the wok.
    4. Reduce heat under wok to medium-low and add chilli pepper paste; cook and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Whisk ketchup, vinegar and sugar together in a bowl; pour over garlic-ginger mixture and stir until sauce is well mixed.
    5. Return crab to sauce in the wok; cook and stir for 3 minutes more, seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour eggs into wok while continuously stirring to create strands in the sauce. Add water if sauce gets too dry. Remove wok from heat and garnish crabs with fresh coriander.

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    Reviews in English (3)


    Oh boy! I'm not 100% certain I prepared this as it was intended but if not, my interpretation was excellent too. There are many types of crabs so I'm not sure which kind you are supposed to use here. Blue crab maybe? I don't know? I used the kind available to me and they did not disappoint. The sauce is excellent and I think it would be good with shrimp too. There was just the right amount of sweet, heat, and tart and then you go adding cilantro and MMMMMMM! Messy yes but 5 stars all the way! Thanks for sharing!  -  30 Mar 2017  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Not the real deal that comes from SE Asia or specifically from Singapore. Just tailored to western tastes, rather than the authentic better tasting chilli crabs back home.  -  12 Jan 2015  (Review from Allrecipes AU | NZ)


    Even my children loved this.......  -  16 Dec 2012  (Review from Allrecipes AU | NZ)