How To Cook Chilli Mud Crab

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This was from Series One of my weekly Lockdown Live Cook-Alongs , where the recipes were selected or adapted so that they’re not too hard to follow.

This was my second broadcast in less than 24 hours on Singapore Chilli Crab (due to Noah being around the day before); if you watched the first one, you will notice a couple of minor differences in how I tackled this recipe the second time around, the main one being the use of potato starch as a thickener instead of cornstarch, which produces a much nicer sauce aesthetically,  since cornstarch makes it look foggy.

The crabs used in both broadcasts were courtesy of Tavis, whose business supplies Live seafood to restaurants around Sydney. Due to the Covid-19 situation, Tavis has had to pivot his seafood business so that he now also supplies directly to the public. 

Join Tavis’s private FB group if you want to buy fresh seafood at wholesale prices >> (pickup in Bankstown)

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Chilli Mud Crab


1 kg crab, cleaned and quartered

2 eggs

¼ cup tapioca/corn starch

1 brown onion

10 cloves garlic

5 large chillies

4 slices ginger

2 TBSP ketchup

3 TBSP sugar

1 TBSP lemon juice/tamarind extract

2 tsp chicken powder

Dash of soya sauce (optional)

4 cups water

1 Tbsp potato/tapioca/corn starch + 2 Tbsps water


  • Heat oil for deep-frying.
  • Crack eggs and separate one yolk. Coat crab pieces in the egg yolk followed by tapioca starch.
  • Fry in oil for 1 minute, then remove and drain.
  • Combine onion, garlic, chillies and ginger in a food processor and mince.
  • Transfer spice mix into a pan and fry for a minute to remove the moisture, then add 3-4 Tbsps oil.
  • Saute for 5-10 minutes or until oil separates.Add ketchup, sugar, lemon juice (or tamarind extract), chicken powder and water and bring to a simmer.
  • Add crab, cover and cook until done (a minute or two depending on size).
  • Remove crab pieces and place in serving dish.
  • Thicken sauce with potato starch & water mixture.Turn off the heat, then add beaten egg in sauce and swirl in one direction gently to create a runny egg sauce texture.
  • Pour sauce over crab and serve.

Singapore Chilli Crab, Lockdown-Style, by Jackie M.

Share and Enjoy !