Chilli Crabs

Chilli crabs, a must order dish in Singapore. I haven’t tried the authentic Singaporean chilli crabs before but this version must be somewhere there (hopefully). A super-easy chilli crabs recipe from my recipe guru Fariza. Sweet, sour, juicy with a hint of spice – definitely a crowd pleaser. The best thing is, all the ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry as we speak.

Terry is a BIG fan of crabs but I have always avoided crabs at the supermarket like a plague because I don’t know what to do with them. I guess the clamps and shell and the size scared me! Terry must be craving for crabs really bad because one day, he bought 4 live crabs at the Avondale morning market while my back was turned buying onions! It was really cheap he said. Thank goodness for Fariza  😉

Even armed with Fariza’s recipe, I still had another problem. I didn’t know how to prepare the crabs for cooking. I have frozen the poor crabs to death from the day before and determined to just do it. I was surprised at how easy it actually was! With the crab’s belly facing upward, I stuck the knife’s tip into it’s behind, held the top shell down with it and pulled its body upward. Voila, the top shell separated revealing the juicy flesh. I halved each crab symmetrically and rinsed everything. Now let’s start cooking!


  • Approximately 1 kg of crabs (4 medium-sized) – cleaned, top shell removed and halved
  • Half cup sweet chilli sauce (I used Thai sweet chilli sauce)
  • Half cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (I used meat curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon chilli paste or 1 fresh red chilli chopped fine (optional)
  • 2 medium onions – one sliced, the other chopped fine
  • 1 inch bulb of ginger – sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic – chopped fine
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2-3 tablespoons water


  1. In a medium saucepan, stir fry garlic, onion, ginger and chilli paste (if using) on medium heat until soft. 
  2. Turn to low heat, cover with lid and let it fry on its own as you prepare sauce mix.
  3. In a bowl, mix sweet chilli sauce, ketchup, curry powder and add water until you get a thick soup consistency.
  4. Pour sauce mix into saucepan, stir and turn to high heat.
  5. As the sauce boils, add in the crabs, stir gently so that crabs are covered or smeared with sauce.
  6. Add in sliced onions (no need to stir in), turn to low heat, cover and simmer until crabs turn pink. If you find sauce is too thick, add some water.
  7. Serve hot with rice or fried mantou buns.

The verdict – really yummy chilli crabs, Terry approves! I love the chilli sauce with a hint of curry and the rich flavours from the crab juices. Excellent with rice or bread. Crabs can now be on my menu thanks to Fariza 😉

Try this easy chilli crabs recipe yourself!

P.S. This fits the plan perfectly too (evil grinnnnn….)



30 comments on “Chilli Crabs

  1. Beth Ann says:

    Oh my goodness those look so yummy!! A lot better than the chicken curry broccoli casserole that I made for dinner….wahhh….I want some chili crabs!!!!!

  2. Fariza says:

    Waaa..congratulations!!! yum!! yum!!! *drooling*
    tak sabar nak buat jugak… Actually that’s my mom’s recipe ;D

  3. SandySays1 says:

    I love Singapore! Two of my favorite Eaterys are there! I can’t remember their names but one reataurant was located over near Changi, the other out east near Tiger Balm Gardens. Raffles curry wasn’t bad either.

    • Tien says:

      Hi Sandy! Thanks for dropping by to comment! I haven’t been to Singapore in ages. I agree, it’s every foodie’s heaven. Must note down the places you mentioned! 😉

  4. analyfe says:

    That looks wonderful!

  5. Sendie-Lou says:

    Oh Tien, you made me miss home so much!! Where fresh seafood just within reach .. 🙂 I definitely will try the recipe this weekend. I will let you know how it turn out! Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  6. nadia says:

    You made me miss the Philippines! I have had crab overload when I was there 😀

    Too bad the husband isn’t much into crabs and shrimps. I’ll probably make this one for myself someday.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Tien!

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  8. Claire says:

    OMG you actually knifed the crab??? 😛

  9. D... says:

    Oh that look delish Tien. I haven’t done live crabs myself, but my Dad used to as a kid. But they look a little like spiders and the whole thing freaks me out. I have a weird thing about spiders. But I still like to eat them, just the legs, I have no idea what to do with the rest of it. I bought one prepared at the market a few weeks ago, I ate the legs and then pondered and poked about the rest of it. Until I gave up and threw it out. I’m sure it was a waste, but I was at a complete loss as to what else was edible and didn’t want to risk it. I can be chicken in total uncharted waters.

    • Tien says:

      I suck at eating crabs too. I have no idea to “get the best” out of it and end up wasting pieces of flesh stuck between its many compartments! Lucky for me, Terry loves his crabs and is pretty good at it too. Thus I only eat crabs strictly when Terry is around tee hee!

  10. scrambled7 says:

    HOLYMOTHEROFGOD that looks delicious.

  11. Khanum says:


  12. […] posted the recipe for chilli crabs and I’ve been dyin to try it! So I’ve been on a quest (in my limited time) going to one grocery […]

  13. Sendie-Lou says:

    I tried it and it was delish!!! Thank you for share this recipe with us!! 🙂

  14. […] Chilli Crabs was number 35. And since I had just made chilli crabs myself, I thought I’d just leave a […]

  15. […] “Fantastic list of delicious food! Chilli Crabs are actually very easy to prepare. Here is an easy recipe for you […]

  16. JM Randolph says:

    That looks fantastic!

  17. […] “Fantastic list of delicious food! Chilli Crabs are actually very easy to prepare. Here is an easy recipe for you […]

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