Singapore Chili Crabs

Singapore Chili Crabs


  • 500g local crab
  • 3 tablesppon vegetable oil
  • 8 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 8 fresh red chili, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 4cm lengths
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • Sauce - mix together: 1 cup of water, 5 tablespoons tomato sauce, 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoon sugar, or according to taste, 1 1/2 teaspoon cornflour, 1/4 tsp salt

The recipe was created in 1950 by Singaporean chef, Madam Cher Yam Tian with her husband, Mr Lim Choon Ngee. The couple ran Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant on Upper East Coast Road (near the present day East Coast Seafood Centre.) Mud crabs are commonly used and are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chilli based sauce. Chilli Crab can be widely found at Malaysian and Singaporean seafood hawker stalls, kopi tiams or restaurants. Despite its name, chili crab is not a very spicy dish.


  1. Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat.
  2. Add garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chilli, stir-fry till fragrant. For mud crabs, add at this stage. Fry well till shells start turning red, add sauce ingredients stir well, cover with lid and simmer till shells are red.
  4. Break egg into the wok and streak with a fork, simmer till cooked. Squeeze lime juice over and stir in spring onions.