Chili Crab: How to Make Singaporean Chili Crab

Chili crab is a seafood dish from Singapore. Mud crabs are frequently used in a semi-thick, sweet and savory sauce based on tomato and chili, and the chili crab is not a very spicy dish, despite its name.

Chili Crab is a definite favorite among both locals and tourists. It is easy to see the crab’s moist and distinctly sweet meat stir-fried in a thick, savory sauce made from a blend of chili paste, tomatoes, and eggs.

The Chili Crab in Singapore strikes the perfect balance between sweet and spicy. The dish is listed at number 35 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods compiled by CNN Go in 2011.


  • Author: Romae Chanice Marquez
  • Recipe Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Singaporean

The iconic dish is a perfect pair with mantou or a steamed bun on the side for an explosive culinary experience that will satisfy your taste buds. The whole preparation and cooking time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes. This recipe serves four people.

Singaporean Chili Crab Recipe

Chili crab is known as one of the most well-regarded dishes in Singapore. Photo credits to: @lizalikestoeat.

Singaporean Chili Crab Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 7 tablespoons of peanut oil
  • ½ cup of minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons of grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic
  • 4 Thai Chilies
  • 2 whole Dungeness crab
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of tomato paste
  • ½ cup of hot sweet chili sauce
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • ½ cup of green onions
  • 1 cup of Chinese parsley

Singaporean Chili Crab Instructions

Step 1: In a small bowl, stir cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water; set aside. In a large wok with a lid, heat oil over medium heat until simmering. Stir in shallots, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Cook until fragrant; stir about 1 minute.

Step 2: Add the crab pieces and broth. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover loosely and gently boil. Decrease heat if necessary until crab has turned red and is nearly cooked

Step 3: Remove cover and stir in tomato paste and chili sauce. Simmer 1 minute and season to taste with salt, sugar, or chili sauce. Stir in cornstarch and boil to thicken.

Step 4: Remove from heat and stir in egg. Stir in green onions. Ladle into a serving dish, sprinkle with Chinese parsley. Then serve.

Singaporean Chili Crab Additional Information

  • Per serving has 437 calories, 12 g of total fat, 30 g of carbohydrates and 51 g of protein.
  • Chili Crab is hailed as one of Singapore’s national dishes.
  • You can also serve this with rice or steamed rice.
  • Serves 4 people, cook/prep time is around 1 hour and 30 minutes.

About Singaporean Chili Crab Recipe

You can’t visit Singapore without rolling up your sleeves and diving into a plate of the iconic Singaporean Chili Crab. Chili Crab is one of Singapore’s national dishes. Crabs are served in a massive puddle of tomato sauce that is sweet, spicy, tangy, and often thickened with egg.

Though the shell of the crab is prepared smashed, you have to dig in, and you can use a chopstick or your fingers and suck out every morsel of succulent, sweet crab. In 1956, Cher Yam Tian started selling stir-fried crabs mixed with bottled chili and tomato sauce from a pushcart with her husband, Lim Choo Ngee. This was an improvised recipe; there was no bottled chili sauce in the original.

Chilli crab was introduced as one of Singapore’s National Dishes by the Singapore Tourism Board and can be seen throughout the island in seafood restaurants. As a means of savoring the juicy crab meat with its sweet and spicy chili sauce, it is traditionally consumed with bare hands.

Other popular Singaporean seafood dishes are the following.

  • Sambal Stingray
  • Black Pepper Crab
  • Oyster Omelette


It is possible to divide Singaporean food into five kinds: meat, seafood, rice, noodles, dessert. Singapore is known for its seafood in particular. Today, the Singaporean Chili Crab has been making a name globally.

For more Asian seafood recipes, click here for more information.

Featured Image: @_jisunpark_ / Instagram, / Instagram