Singapore Chile Crab Recipe

Singapore Chile Crab Recipe
Staff Writer

Here is a classic hot and spicy dish from Singapore. Singapore has an endless supply of chiles and a huge assortment of chile pastes and hot sauces of every heat level. This dish works well with rice. 

Adapted from "1,001 Best Hot And Spicy Recipes" by Dave DeWitt


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 4 serranos or jalapeños, stems and seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 pounds live hard-shelled crabs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly


In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, and tomato paste. In a mortar, use a pestle and mash to a paste the ginger, garlic, and chile peppers.

In a pot, blanch the crabs in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain them, and let them cool until they can be handled. Discard the top shells, aprons, gills, sacs, mouths, and mandibles, and break the bodies in half, reserving the claws for another use.

In a large, heavy skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the crabs and fry them in oil, turning them, for 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the crabs to a platter. In the oil remaining in the skillet, fry the ginger mixture, stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste mixture until well combined. Add the crabs and cook, stirring, until they are coated. Stir in the eggs and cook, stirring, about 1 minute or until the eggs are just set.  

Chile Shopping Tip

Fresh peppers get hotter as they age; they will achieve a more reddish hue and sometimes develop streaks in the skin.

Chile Cooking Tip

There are 60 varieties of chile peppers, many of which are used in Mexican cooking. Handle them with care. When handling the spicier kinds, gloves are recommended. Always wash your hands with soap and warm water before touching your eyes.