Chilli Crab


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Around the World in 80 Dishes: Classic Recipes from the World's Favourite Chefs

Around the World in 80 Dishes

By David Loftus

Published 2012

  • About

Whenever I think of crab, I think of Mr Harris. I’ve sat on many a beautiful beach or boat or slipway, quietly reading, with him unable to sit still and disappearing between the seaside rocks in search of crab and octopus. This Singaporean recipe is one of his best.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 long fresh red chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 medium-sized crabs, cleaned and chopped into large pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chilli sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour


Heat the oil in a large wok over a medium heat. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger, and sauté until softened and turning a golden colour.

Add the pieces of crab and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring all the time, then add the chilli sauce, sugar, soy sauce and half a glass of water. Season with freshly ground black pepper and continue to cook for 10 minutes, or until the crab shells become bright orange in colour.

Finally, add the spring onions and cornflour and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens. Serve immediately, with plain boiled rice and a sprinkling of coriander leaves.

To serve

  • Plain boiled rice
  • Fresh coriander leaves