Singapore Chili Crab

This is an interesting crab dish that incorporates Mantou. If you're not familiar with that ingredient, it is a cloud-like bun that can be steamed or fried and is popular in northern China.
Prep Time: 25
Cook Time: 15
Yield: 2-4 Servings
Difficulty: Medium


  • 1-Large, live mud crab, cleaned
  • 6-Fresh Chilies, sliced
  • 2-Red Shallots, chopped
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • ½” Ginger, grated
  • ¼-Cup Vegetable Oil
  • ¼”-Tsp. Salt
  • 1-14 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1-Cup Chicken Stock or Water
  • 2-Tbsp. Fine Palm Sugar
  • 1-Tbsp. White Vinegar
  • 1-Tbsp. Soy Sauce
  • 1-Tsp. Corn Flour mixed with 2 Tbsp. Cold Water
  • 1-Egg, Lightly Beaten
  • 3-Spring Onions, Green Ends Only, Cut into 2” Lengths
  • Coriander Sprigs, to Serve
  • 1-Package of Mantou, Fried or Steamed


  1. To prepare the crab humanely, place it in the freezer for 1 hour to put it to sleep.  Pull the top shell away from the body and discard the gills but reserve any of the yellowish tomalley from the head and the top shell.  Twist off the claws, then using a cleaver or large heavy knife, divide the body into four pieces with two legs on each piece.
  2. Fry mantou over medium heat in a Swiss Diamond Fry Pan until golden brown and set aside.
  3. Blend chilies, ginger, garlic, and shallots in a Swiss Diamond Wok.  Sauté blended ingredients until fragrant.
  4. Add in the pieces of crab except for the upper section known as the carapace.
  5. Add stock or water to the pan and increase the heat to allow it to boil.  Then, add sugar, crushed tomatoes, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt.  Mix well.
  6. Once it boils, place the carapace on top and cover with the lid.  Cook at medium heat for 10 minutes.
  7. Add in the cornstarch mixture to the gravy.  Once gravy thickens, add the beaten egg to the gravy, and cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  9. Pour the sauce over the crab, then scatter with coriander and chilies and serve immediately with the fried mantou.
  10. Best to eat with your fingers!