Tom Yum Poo

Spicy Tom Yum Fried Crabs


It’s easy to get crabby (pun intended) over preparing crustaceans for a meal because of the hassle, but the end result is totally worth it. In this recipe, the usual suspects of garlic, ginger and shallots combine with spicy tom yum paste and butter to produce an incredibly tantalising sauce and aroma that will whet your appetite. Ditch the cutlery and use your fingers; there’s no room for daintiness here!


  • 4 large crabs, cleaned and cut in half
  • freshly cracked white pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 eggs, beaten separately
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • cooking oil for deep-frying
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tablespoons bottled tom yum paste
  • 6 bird’s eye chillies, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • a handful of coriander leaves


  1. Place the crabs in a large bowl. Add pepper, cornflour, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon sugar. Mix well.
  2. Heat enough oil for deep-frying in a wok over medium heat. Lower the crabs into the oil and deep-fry the crabs until crabs turn red and are done. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a clean pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger and tom yum paste and stir-fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the chillies, fried crabs, soy sauce and remaining sugar. Stir-fry lightly.
  5. Add the remaining egg and mix quickly so the egg does not clump up. Mix well.
  6. Dish out and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve immediately.