Salted Egg Crab

Salted Egg Crab is a Singaporean hawker dish prepared with large mud crabs lightly dusted on tapioca flour, deep fried then cooked in spiced salted egg yolk sauce.

To eat this, you have to crack the shells, probably get wounded in the process, pick those crab meat in hard to reach places, suck them out and end up with one tablespoon of meat, yes it is hard to eat and it is messy but people still love this Singaporean dish. How far would you go to eat a delicious dish? I love crabs but I rarely eat them because first it can get really expensive and they are a pain to eat but with this dish we have today we placed an exception because the sauce alone of this dish is already worthy on its own.

I had mentioned this dish is quite popular in Singapore where you see them commonly in hawker stalls and restaurants. I am not sure where did it all began but I guess this is quite a new dish because when I used to go there before for my business trips during the early 2000’s it was not existing yet, or if it is they are not popular as I haven’t seen them. What was popular there before was the Chilli Crab but I guess during the recent years when Salted Egg Potato Chips and Salted Egg Fish Skin went viral this dish started to gain its popularity. I know for a fact that this dish was even older than the popular chips because the popular brand Irvine’s, the owners started with a restaurant selling salted duck egg crabs as their best seller and just added the potato chips and fish skin later on their menu as additional offering. I haven’t personally tried this dish in Singapore but when this dish reached New Zealand, I gave it a try here.

It’s a very addictive dish, you will need a lot of patience to eat this and if you are a fussy eater this may not be the dish for you. The sauce alone is full of umami, salty but not over powering, creamy, a bit spicy and mildly sweet, imagine that in a thick sauce covering the crab shell and meat, it’s so good you might not need the crab meat at all.

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Salted Egg Crab

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  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 3 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Singaporean


Salted Egg Crab is a Singaporean hawker dish prepared with large mud crabs lightly dusted on tapioca flour, deep fried then cooked in spiced salted egg yolk sauce.


  • 2 kg large mud crabs, cleaned
  • 1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 6 cooked salted egg yolks, mashed
  • 4 pcs red chillies, chopped
  • 4 stalks curry leaves
  • 2 pcs small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • salt
  • ground white pepper
  • oil, for deep frying


  1. Crack open mud crabs and clean it with running water, cut the body in half and crack the legs with the back of the cleaver but do not pull it apart, make sure they still are hanging together
  2. Place crabs in a large platter in one layer then sprinkle tapioca flour on crabs to coat. Flip the crabs and sprinkle it again with tapioca flour to coat the other half.
  3. Heat oil in a large wok enough for deep frying, once oil is hot deep fry crab until crab turns red.
  4. Remove crab from the wok, place it in a large colander to drain excess oil. Set it aside.
  5. In another melt butter then sauté garlic, shallots, curry leaves and red chillies until very aromatic.
  6. Add salted duck egg yolks then keeps stirring until its mashed and starts bubbling.
  7. Add evaporated milk, sugar and white pepper, mix it well then season with salt if necessary.
  8. Add the fried crabs, toss to coat it with the sauce then serve.


5 Responses

  1. I hear ya about crab, Raymund – they are so much work for so little meat! Laura loves crabs, though, so I should make this recipe for her. That sauce sounds fantastic!!

  2. I only tried salted egg yolks shrimp before…and my…so GOOD, but so messy. I love crabs, but they are just too expensive and I hardly see them here…miss those good old times when I still lived in my parents’ house. My brother went fishing weekly and always came home with lots of seafood…and I was always the one who ate the most of them.

  3. I always think that dishes like this have to be absolutely amazing for people to go to all the work to eat them, much less prepare them! Bravo to you.

  4. suituapui says:

    I love crab and yes, salted egg crab…or as a matter of fact, salted egg anything is very popular here. They sell the flavour/seasoning in packets and bottles here so not too sure whether they are using fresh salted eggs like you in the cooking or not.

  5. Yes, the crabs are expensive but I don’t really mind the work! This looks so good!

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