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Tantalizing Seafood Supper for Good Friday: Singapore Chili Crabs

Most people have had the pleasure of trying a wide variety of crab dishes prepared in different ways. Yet, one recipe that stands out is Singapore-style chili crabs, known for its exceptional taste. It's wise to keep plenty of napkins handy when enjoying this dish. According to sources familiar with this cuisine, it's customary to serve this dish with a generous amount of sauce, often twice the regular portion, accompanied by a fried roll to absorb the delicious flavors. To fully immerse yourself in the authentic experience of savoring chili crab the Singaporean way, it's recommended to double the sauce ingredients!



  • ½ cup ketchup

  • ½ cup chicken broth

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons chile-garlic sauce (such as sambal oelek)

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste

  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar

  • ¼ cup minced shallot

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, or more as needed

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root

  • 1 tablespoon minced serrano pepper

  • 2 cooked Dungeness crabs, cleaned and cracked

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons sliced green onion (green part only)


Step 1:

Whisk ketchup, chicken broth, egg, soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce, oyster sauce, tamarind paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar together in a bowl.

Step 2:

Stir shallots, garlic, oil, ginger, and serrano pepper together in a pot over medium-high heat. Saute until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add crab to pot, cover the pot with a lid, and shake until crab is completely coated in shallot mixture. Remove lid and cook and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Step 3:

Pour ketchup mixture into pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir until sauce thickens and crab is hot about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and green onions.

Cook's Notes:

You can substitute water for the chicken broth, if desired. You can substitute any spicy ground chili sauce for the sambal oelek, if desired.

You can substitute 1 tablespoon sliced chives for the green onions, if desired. You can substitute red onion for the shallot, if desired.


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