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Chili Crab: Singaporean Shellfish in Spicy Tomato Sauce

Chili Crab: Singaporean Spicy Tomato Shellfish

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  • Author: Noreen
  • Total Time: 21 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


Chili Crab: Singaporean Spicy Tomato Shellfish  with spring onion greens, sliced thinly.


  • 1 16 oz package of crab meat
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 medium-sized shallots, finely diced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 2 stalks of spring onion greens, sliced thinly
  • !Tomato Sauce
  • 5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (retaining as much liquid as possible)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 1-inch knob of ginger
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (on Amazon)

Chili Paste Base

  • 6 large, thin chilis, sliced and partially deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp (on Amazon), pan roasted


Stage 1 – Prepare the Chili Paste

  1. Start by adding your red chilis into a mortar and pestle, and begin to pound them down into more of a paste-like consistency
  2. As your chilis get pounded down, add the roasted dried shrimp (on Amazon) and peanuts. Continue to pound all the ingredients into a mortar and pestle to integrate the ingredients and to create more of a paste
  3. Once you have a reasonable paste-like consistency from your ingredients, set your mortar and pestle aside for the time being

Stage 2 – Create the Tomato Sauce

  1. Bring a large wok over medium-high heat. Once the wok is heated, pour in and add your coconut oil
  2. With the coconut oil nice and heated, add your diced tomatoes into the hot wok and stir around for 1 minute
  3. As the tomatoes begin to cook and break further down, add both kinds of your cardamom, paprika, and 5 spice powder. Stir around and mix the spices in well
  4. Next, add your garlic, ginger, lemongrass, shallots and tomato paste into the sauce. Again, mix around and stir very well, and you’ll cook this all together for another 5 mins
  5. After 5 minutes, pour your tomato sauce into a bowl and set aside. Don’t keep it too far, though, since you’ll need it back in just a second!

Stage 3 – Putting Your Chili Crab All Together

  1. In the same wok that was used to make the tomato sauce, add another dash of oil and bring over medium-high heat
  2. When hot, add your shallots and roasted garlic into the pan and stir around for 1 minute as they develop a nice reddish hue to them
  3. As they turn red, add your chili paste into the pan and stir well around for 2-3 minutes. You want the chili paste to grow more and more fragrant as it heats up
  4. After 2-3 minutes, add your tomato sauce, your cup of water and your peanuts in with your chili paste and shallots. Stir everything around together thoroughly
  5. With your entire sauce now ready to go, add your crab meat in and stir well. Reduce the heat of your stove to medium-low and let the crab cook in the sauce for another 5 minutes

Stage 4 – Finishing Touches to Your Chili Crab

  1. After 5 minutes, take the wok with your chili crab off the heat. As everything cools down, add your lime juice and half of your spring onions in. Keep the other half of the spring onions for some garnish
  2. Stir everything together well, then serve and enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 11 mins
  • Category: Lunch
  • Cuisine: Singaporean