Singapore-Style Chili Crab

posted: 06/30/10
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Singapore-Style Chili Crab

Take Home Chef, Episode 114: Blaine's Menu


  • Two 2-pound/ 900-g live Dungeness crabs
  • 1 tablespoon/15 ml olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small red jalapeno chili, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon/10 g finely chopped or grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml Chinese Shaoxing rice wine
  • 3 tablespoons/45 ml rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons/30 ml reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon/15 ml sweet chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon/15 g granulated sugar
  • Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish


  1. To kill the crabs humanely, place them in the freezer for 2 hours. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  2. Once the crabs are no longer moving, plunge them into the boiling water for about 60 seconds or just until the crab shells begin to turn red. Remove the crabs from the water and set them on a baking sheet to cool.
  3. Remove the legs and claws and lightly tap with the back of a knife to crack the body shell. Remove the top shell from the crab bodies and clean the insides with your fingers. Using a large sharp knife, cut the main body of the crabs into 4 pieces.
  4. Place a large saut? pan or wok over a medium to high heat. Drizzle the olive oil over the wok. Add the shallots, garlic, chili and ginger and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  5. Add all the crab pieces and stir for 5 minutes. Add the Chinese rice wine and stir for a further 3 minutes or until the wine is reduced by half. Combine the vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chili and sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle the soy mixture over the crabs.
  6. Toss to combine and cook for a further 2 minutes or until the crab meat is cooked through. Remove the wok from the heat and transfer the crab pieces to a serving platter. Spoon the sauce over the crab.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro sprigs and serve. Crab should be eaten with your hands, so you will need finger bowls, claw crackers and picks. Bibs may also come in handy since this one can get rather messy!
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