Fish and Hunt Australia – How to Cook Chilli Crab in 15 minutes

Malaysia’s southern neighbour likes to lay claim to this dish’s origin, hence why it’s more widely known as “Singapore Chilli Crab” but we all know it’s actually Malaysian 😉  I’m teasing (I love Singapore); anyhow this is my take on it – with belacan added for good measure to give it extra depth.

I need to point out the use of belacan is not de rigeur – it’s my own personal tweak – so don’t stress if you have trouble getting hold of it. The indispensable ingredients in your typical Singaporean-Malaysian restaurant recipe are more like garlic and ginger (apart of course from the chilli and ketchup).

I’m using blue swimmer crabs here though it’s traditionally cooked with mud crab. As with a lot of my recipes, I’ve applied some of my go-to hacks (yes I know “hack” is an overused term and I’m a bit tired of it too) to keep this under 15 minutes.


– 3 Tbsps fried shallots, processed
– 4 Tbsps chilli paste or bottled chilli sauce (e.g. Sriracha)
– 1.5 Tbsps garlic
– 2 tsps belacan powder (or slices) (optional)
– 1 Tbsp minced ginger
– 2/3 Tbsp chicken stock granules
– 4 Tbsps sugar
– 3 Tbsps tomato sauce
– 100mL water
– 3 eggs
– Oil for deep-frying
– 3 blue swimmer crabs, halved
– Some corn flour or tapioca flour for drenching
– 2 egg whites (optional)
– Coriander leaves for garnishing


1. Heat up 2 inches of oil in a wok. Drench crab pieces with egg white followed by corn flour, then flash fry for about 90 seconds. Cook in batches if using a small wok.
2. Remove and drain.
3. Transfer 2 Tbsp back into wok, then add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute. Add fried shallots, tomato sauce, sugar, chicken stock granules, chilli paste/sauce and belacan.
4. Cook for another minute, then add water and crab pieces.
5. Simmer for 2 minutes, turn off heat and crack 3 eggs into wok. Stir vigorously in one direction, then transfer onto platter.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Chilli Blue Swimmer Crabs

Chilli Blue Swimmer Crabs

Click here to download full recipe of Jackie M Chilli Crabs.

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