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Violet Oon's Singapore chilli crab


  • Wash the crabs, removing the shells and claws. Then cut the bodies in half and remove all the spongy bits. Crack open the claws with a pestle and mortar or a nut cracker and wash well. Set aside. 
  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a wok (or large heavy-bottomed non-stick pan) and stirfry the garlic and chillies for about 3-4 mins until fragrant (and you start to sneeze). 
  • Add the crabs and fry until the shells start to turn red, stirring now and again. 
  • Then add the hot water and ketchup with sugar to taste, the salt, miso, soy and cornflour mixture. Stir well, cover and simmer until the shells turn vibrant red. Taste the sauce for seasoning. 
  • Break open the egg and streak in the mixture with a fork to form gold and silver threads.
  • Then squeeze lime juice over and stir in the spring onions. 
  • Serve with good crusty bread on the side.
  • nb. Soft-shelled crabs can be used. Cut each crab into 4, coat well in plain flour and deep fry until golden brown and crispy. Then make the sauce as above and toss in the soft-shelled crabs just before serving.  
  • Violet Oon - food expert from Singapore


  • 1-2 mud crabs
  • vegetable oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 8-12 small red chillies, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp shaved palm (or soft brown) sugar
  • ¼ tspn sea salt
  • 1 tspn pounded brown preserved soya beans or dark miso (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1½ tspn cornflour mixed with a little water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lime (or lemon)
  • 2 spring (green) onions, cut into lengths
  • 1 small bunch coriander

Huey's Kitchen takes a lot of care in the preparation of its recipes, but viewers are reminded to always double check that the recipe and all the ingredients are suitable.

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