Savor the Delights of Seafood: An Easy Chilli Crab Recipe for Home Cooks - Today Resepi Ideas

Savor the Delights of Seafood: An Easy Chilli Crab Recipe for Home Cooks

Embark on a culinary journey to the vibrant streets of Singapore and discover the tantalizing flavors of chilli crab, a beloved seafood delicacy that has captured the hearts of food enthusiasts worldwide. This easy chilli crab recipe will guide you through the process of creating this iconic dish in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Get ready to indulge in a symphony of flavors as we explore the origins, ingredients, and cooking techniques that bring this culinary masterpiece to life.

Chilli crab traces its roots back to the vibrant hawker centers of Singapore, where it has evolved into a national dish, celebrated for its harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and spicy notes. This easy recipe deconstructs the complexity of chilli crab, making it accessible to home cooks of all skill levels.

Prepare to tantalize your taste buds as we delve into the secrets of crafting this delectable seafood sensation.


Chilli crab, a culinary delight that tantalizes taste buds and captivates hearts, is a symphony of flavors and textures, leaving an indelible mark on the culinary landscape. Originating in Singapore, this iconic seafood dish has transcended geographical boundaries, becoming a symbol of cultural fusion and culinary artistry.

The roots of chilli crab can be traced back to the mid-20th century, where it emerged as a testament to Singapore’s vibrant culinary heritage. The dish’s creation is often attributed to two individuals: Cher Yam Tian and Lim Choon Ngee, who independently experimented with different recipes and techniques, ultimately giving birth to this delectable delicacy.

Origin and Cultural Significance

Chilli crab’s captivating flavor profile is a harmonious blend of sweet, spicy, and savory notes, achieved through a meticulous cooking process. Mud crabs, renowned for their succulent flesh and sweet flavor, are carefully selected and steamed or deep-fried to perfection.

The star of the dish, however, is the rich and aromatic sauce, lovingly prepared with a medley of ingredients that include tomatoes, chillies, garlic, ginger, and a secret blend of spices.

The cultural significance of chilli crab extends beyond its culinary appeal. It has become an integral part of Singapore’s national identity, a dish that proudly represents the country’s diverse culinary heritage. Chilli crab is often served at special occasions and gatherings, symbolizing unity, celebration, and the joy of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones.


easy chilli crab recipe terbaru

To prepare a tantalizing and flavorsome chilli crab dish, gather the essential ingredients categorized into main components: crab, sauce ingredients, and garnishes. Each ingredient plays a crucial role in creating the perfect balance of flavors and textures.

Carefully select the freshest and highest quality ingredients to ensure an unforgettable culinary experience.


  • 2 large crabs (approximately 1.5-2 pounds each), live or freshly caught
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red chili peppers
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Step-by-Step Cooking s

Preparing this tantalizing dish involves a series of culinary steps that harmonize together to create a symphony of flavors. From preparing the crab to crafting the aromatic sauce and assembling the final masterpiece, each step holds significance in achieving the ultimate culinary experience.

Before embarking on this culinary journey, ensure you have all the necessary ingredients at your disposal. Refer to the comprehensive ingredients list provided earlier to ensure you possess everything required for this delectable creation.

Preparing the Crab

1. With meticulous care, grasp the live crab firmly, ensuring a secure hold. Locate the underside of the crab, where its belly is exposed. Using a sharp knife, swiftly insert it into the center of the belly, making a clean incision.

2. Once the crab has been humanely dispatched, proceed to remove the top shell. Gently lift the upper portion of the shell, revealing the succulent crab meat nestled beneath.

3. Extract the gills, located on either side of the body, and discard them. Remove the yellow-orange tomalley, also known as the crab’s hepatopancreas, and set it aside for later use.

4. Rinse the crab thoroughly under running water, ensuring all impurities are removed. Pat it dry with paper towels, preparing it for the subsequent steps.

Creating the Sauce

1. In a capacious saucepan, heat a generous amount of cooking oil over medium heat. Once the oil begins to shimmer, introduce the finely chopped garlic and ginger, releasing their aromatic essence into the air.

2. As the garlic and ginger sizzle and turn golden brown, add the sliced onions and sauté until they achieve a translucent appearance. This process enhances their natural sweetness and adds depth to the sauce.

3. Pour in the tomato purée, along with the reserved crab tomalley. Stir diligently to create a cohesive mixture, allowing the flavors to meld and intensify.

4. Season the sauce with a harmonious blend of salt, pepper, and sugar, adjusting the quantities to suit your personal preferences. Stir in the soy sauce and vinegar, infusing the sauce with umami and a hint of acidity.

5. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and allow it to reduce slightly, concentrating its flavors. This process typically takes about 10-15 minutes, during which the sauce thickens and becomes more flavorful.

Assembling the Dish

1. Place the prepared crab in a steamer basket or on a heatproof plate. Position it over a pot of boiling water, ensuring the steam can envelop the crab and cook it thoroughly.

2. Steam the crab for approximately 10-15 minutes, or until its meat turns opaque and tender. The cooking time may vary depending on the size of the crab, so keep a watchful eye to prevent overcooking.

3. Once the crab is perfectly cooked, remove it from the steamer and allow it to cool slightly. This will make it easier to handle and prevent any accidental burns.

4. Arrange the crab on a serving platter, showcasing its vibrant colors and inviting aroma. Generously pour the prepared sauce over the crab, ensuring every nook and cranny is coated in its delectable embrace.

5. Garnish the dish with chopped spring onions and cilantro, adding a final touch of freshness and vibrancy. Serve immediately, accompanied by steamed rice or your preferred side dish, and savor the symphony of flavors that await your palate.

Sauce Variations

The classic chilli crab sauce is a delicious and versatile condiment that can be customized to suit various tastes and preferences. Here are some exciting variations to explore:

Adjusting Spiciness Level

The spiciness level of the chilli crab sauce can be easily adjusted to cater to different palates. For those who prefer a milder sauce, reduce the amount of chillies used or substitute them with milder varieties like bell peppers. Alternatively, to create a fiery and intense sauce, increase the quantity of chillies or incorporate spicier types such as habaneros or ghost peppers.

Alternative Ingredients

To enhance the flavor and complexity of the chilli crab sauce, consider incorporating alternative ingredients. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Tamarind Paste: Adds a tangy and slightly sour note to the sauce, balancing the sweetness of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the chillies.
  • Fermented Bean Paste: Introduces a savory and umami flavor, creating a rich and complex sauce.
  • Coconut Milk: Creates a creamy and velvety texture, while adding a subtle sweetness and tropical flavor.
  • Ginger and Garlic: Enhance the aromatic profile of the sauce, adding a warm and pungent flavor.
  • Coriander and Cumin: Infuse the sauce with warm and earthy spices, creating a more complex flavor profile.

Serving Suggestions

Chilli crab is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways to suit different preferences and occasions. Let’s explore the traditional accompaniments, side dishes, and presentation techniques that enhance the dining experience.

Traditional Accompaniments

In Singapore, chilli crab is traditionally served with deep-fried or steamed buns known as mantou . These soft and fluffy buns are perfect for soaking up the rich and flavorful sauce. Mantou also acts as a palate cleanser between bites of the spicy crab.

Complementary Side Dishes

To balance the heat of the chilli crab, it is common to serve it with cooling side dishes. Popular choices include stir-fried greens like kangkong (water spinach) or taugeh (bean sprouts), which provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the crab.

Additionally, steamed rice or noodles, such as bee hoon (rice vermicelli) or mee goreng (fried noodles), can be served as a side to soak up the delicious sauce.

Presentation Techniques

To make chilli crab visually appealing, consider arranging the crab in a circular pattern on a large serving platter. Garnish with chopped spring onions, cilantro, and red chili peppers to add color and freshness. You can also place a bowl of the chilli sauce in the center of the platter, allowing diners to dip their crab pieces and buns.

Health Benefits and Nutritional Information

Chilli crab offers a wealth of nutritional benefits, making it a wholesome and delicious dish. It provides an array of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that contribute to overall well-being.

One of the key nutrients found in chilli crab is omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats play a crucial role in maintaining heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting brain function.

Nutritional Value

  • Vitamin A: Supports vision, immune system, and skin health.
  • Vitamin C: Boosts immunity, aids collagen production, and acts as an antioxidant.
  • Calcium: Essential for strong bones, teeth, and overall skeletal health.
  • Iron: Plays a vital role in red blood cell production, oxygen transport, and energy metabolism.
  • Zinc: Supports immune function, cell growth, and wound healing.
  • Selenium: Acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage.

Health Benefits

  • Improved Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids in chilli crab help reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and improve cholesterol levels, contributing to a healthier heart.
  • Boosted Metabolism: Capsaicin, the compound that gives chillies their spicy flavor, has been shown to increase metabolism and promote fat burning.
  • Enhanced Immune System: The abundance of vitamins and minerals in chilli crab supports a robust immune system, helping to ward off infections and illnesses.
  • Reduced Inflammation: Omega-3 fatty acids and capsaicin possess anti-inflammatory properties, aiding in reducing inflammation throughout the body.
  • Improved Brain Function: Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for cognitive health, supporting memory, learning, and overall brain function.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Making chilli crab at home can be a delightful experience, but it’s essential to be aware of potential pitfalls that may hinder your success. To ensure a seamless cooking experience, consider the following common mistakes and tips to avoid them:

Overcrowding the Pan

Mistake: Cramming too much crab into the pan at once can result in uneven cooking and a lack of flavor development. Tip: Use a pan large enough to accommodate the crab in a single layer, ensuring each piece has sufficient space to cook evenly and absorb the flavors of the sauce.

Insufficient Sauce

Mistake: Using too little sauce can leave the crab dry and lacking in flavor. Tip: Prepare an ample amount of sauce to generously coat the crab. The sauce should be thick and flavorful, providing a rich and satisfying taste experience.

Skipping the Marinating Step

Mistake: Neglecting to marinate the crab can result in bland and lackluster flavor. Tip: Marinate the crab in a mixture of seasonings and aromatics before cooking. This step allows the flavors to penetrate the crab meat, resulting in a more flavorful and succulent dish.

Cooking the Crab for Too Long

Mistake: Overcooking the crab can make it tough and rubbery, diminishing its delicate texture. Tip: Cook the crab just until it is opaque and cooked through, avoiding prolonged cooking times. Overcooking can compromise the texture and flavor of the crab.

Not Adjusting the Sauce for Personal Preference

Mistake: Assuming the sauce is perfect as written without considering personal taste preferences. Tip: Feel free to adjust the sauce to suit your desired level of spiciness, sweetness, or acidity. Experiment with different ingredients and ratios to create a sauce that aligns with your palate.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Problem: The sauce is too thick. Solution: Add a little water or broth to thin out the sauce to the desired consistency. Problem: The sauce is too spicy. Solution: Reduce the amount of chili peppers or add some sugar or honey to balance the heat.

Problem: The crab is not cooked evenly. Solution: Ensure the crab is cooked in a single layer and adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Recipe Variations

Chilli crab, a beloved dish with origins in Singapore, has found its way into various regional cuisines across the globe. While the core elements of the dish remain consistent, unique interpretations and variations have emerged, reflecting diverse cultural influences and culinary traditions.

Regional Variations

  • Singaporean Chilli Crab: The classic version that gave birth to the dish, featuring a rich, flavorful sauce made with tomatoes, chillies, and tamarind, along with a generous helping of fresh crab.
  • Malaysian Chilli Crab: A close relative to the Singaporean version, the Malaysian variation often incorporates additional spices and herbs, such as lemongrass, galangal, and kaffir lime leaves, resulting in a more aromatic and complex flavor profile.
  • Sri Lankan Chilli Crab: In Sri Lanka, the chilli crab takes on a distinct twist, with the addition of coconut milk and curry leaves, imparting a creamy texture and a subtle hint of spice.
  • Thai Chilli Crab: The Thai rendition of the dish showcases the country’s love for bold flavors, featuring a sauce infused with a blend of chillies, garlic, and pungent shrimp paste, creating a fiery and aromatic experience.
  • Indonesian Chilli Crab: Indonesia’s take on chilli crab incorporates a rich and spicy sambal sauce, made with a variety of chillies, tomatoes, and shrimp paste, resulting in a fiery and flavorful dish.

Each regional variation of chilli crab offers a unique culinary journey, showcasing the diverse culinary heritage and creativity of different cultures.

Tips for Choosing the Right Crab

Selecting the right crab is crucial for achieving the best flavor and texture in your chilli crab dish. Here are some tips to guide you:


  • Choose crabs that are alive and active. Check for signs of vitality, such as moving legs and antennae.
  • Avoid crabs with a dull or discolored shell, as these may indicate old age or poor health.
  • Look for crabs with a clean and intact shell, free from cracks or holes.


  • Larger crabs typically have more meat, but they can also be more expensive.
  • For chilli crab, medium-sized crabs are a good choice as they offer a balance of meat and flavor.


  • There are different varieties of crabs available, each with its unique flavor and texture.
  • Blue crabs, Dungeness crabs, and mud crabs are popular choices for chilli crab.
  • Consider the availability and local preferences in your area when selecting the crab variety.

Identifying High-Quality Crabs

  • Smell: Fresh crabs should have a clean, briny smell. Avoid crabs with a strong, fishy odor.
  • Eyes: The eyes of a live crab should be bright and clear. Avoid crabs with cloudy or sunken eyes.
  • Weight: A heavy crab for its size indicates a full body of meat. Choose crabs that feel heavy when you hold them.


Encountering unexpected challenges while making chilli crab is not uncommon. To ensure a successful outcome, it’s important to address common problems and offer solutions to rectify them.

Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you navigate potential difficulties:

Crab Selection

Choosing the right crab is crucial for a flavorful dish. If the crab is not fresh or of poor quality, the final result may be compromised. To avoid this, select live crabs that are heavy for their size and have a firm shell.

Additionally, check for any signs of damage or discoloration, as these may indicate a compromised crab.

Insufficient Sauce Thickness

If you find that your chilli crab sauce lacks the desired thickness, there are a few steps you can take. Firstly, simmer the sauce for a longer duration to allow the flavors to meld and thicken naturally. Alternatively, you can add a cornstarch slurry, which is a mixture of cornstarch and water, to the sauce while stirring continuously.

This will help thicken the sauce without compromising its taste.

Bland or Lackluster Flavor

If your chilli crab lacks flavor, there are several potential reasons. Ensure that you are using fresh and high-quality ingredients, as stale or low-quality ingredients can significantly impact the dish’s overall taste. Additionally, adjust the seasoning to your preference, adding more chilli or other spices as needed.

You can also enhance the flavor by using a variety of sauces, such as tomato sauce or oyster sauce, to create a more complex flavor profile.

Overcooked Crab

Overcooked crab can become tough and rubbery, detracting from the dish’s enjoyment. To prevent this, be mindful of the cooking time and avoid overcooking the crab. The ideal cooking time will vary depending on the size and type of crab, so it’s important to follow the recipe instructions carefully.

Closing Summary

As you embark on your culinary adventure, remember that the essence of chilli crab lies in the delicate balance of flavors and textures. Experiment with different variations of the sauce to suit your personal preferences, and don’t be afraid to adjust the heat level to create a dish that ignites your taste buds.

Whether you choose to savor it with steamed rice or crispy mantou buns, chilli crab is a culinary journey that will leave you craving more. So gather your ingredients, fire up your stove, and let’s embark on this delightful culinary adventure together.

FAQ Summary

What is the origin of chilli crab?

Chilli crab originated in Singapore in the mid-20th century, where it quickly gained popularity as a national dish.

What type of crab is best for chilli crab?

Mud crabs or blue crabs are commonly used for chilli crab due to their firm texture and sweet flavor.

Can I adjust the spiciness level of the chilli crab sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the spiciness level by reducing or increasing the amount of chili peppers or chili sauce used.

What are some common side dishes served with chilli crab?

Steamed rice, mantou buns, and stir-fried vegetables are popular accompaniments to chilli crab.

How can I ensure that my chilli crab is cooked properly?

Make sure to cook the crab until the meat is opaque and flaky, and the sauce has thickened to a rich, glossy consistency.

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