Last day of the Chinese dish week and for this post we will be making a Singaporean Chinese dish called Chilli crab.
Chilli crab is one of the most popular dish in Singapore, it is made out of chopped fresh crabs stir fried in a sweet and savoury tomato and chilli based sauce. It was invented by Cher Yam Tian in 1950 when her husband suggested adding bottled chilli sauce to her crabs stir-fried with bottled tomato sauce. She started in a small pushcart and the business grew fast until she opened up a stall 6 years later in the Upper East Coast Road in Singapore. They then opened a restaurant called
Palm Beach in 1963 and sold the business in 1984. In 2000 her son Roland Lim opened a Roland restaurant
using the original recipe.
Despite its name this dish is not really hot, the sauce is semi-thick with hints of sweetness and spiciness but not overpowering. Usually paired with bread like baguette or Chinese buns but it goes well with rice.
3 large crabs
4 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp chili sauce
juice from half lemon
3 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 red onion, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 long fresh red chilli (sweet and mild variant), sliced
3 pcs dried chillies
spring onion, chopped
- In a pot add 1 cup of water and crabs, bring to a boil and simmer until crabs are cooked.
- Remove the top shell of crab and grey gills, cut it in half and crack the legs and claws.
- In a bowl mix ketchup, chili sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, lemon and 1/2 cup of water.
- Pour oil in a wok then sauté garlic, ginger, onions and dried chillies in medium heat for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Put heat on high then add the crabs and stir fry for a minute.
- Pour the sauce and sliced chillies then add the cilantro, continue to stir fry for 5 minutes and make sure crabs are evenly coated with the sauce. Sauce should be reduced to a thicker consistency.
- Place in a plate then serve garnished with spring oniones.