Singaporean Chilli Crabs

by Lisa K. on Mon, February 04, 2019

Gong Hei Fatt Choy! If crabs is on your menu this festive season, try out this saucy Singaporean Chilli Crabs recipe with fried Man Tou Buns. Whether you’re using Flower Crabs or Mud Crabs, this recipe is suitable for both. Don’t forget to reserve some Man Tou Buns till the end so you can mop up all that good sauce.

OOZY chilli crabs

Serves 4 people

Flower crabs cook fast and have very delicate flesh. Try not to overcook them.

If you are using mud crabs, add a few more minutes to the cooking time as they have thicker shell.

Foodster's Verdict

Singaporean Chilli Crabs


  • Preparation
  • Total
    5 dried red chillies, soaked in hot water
    3 red chillies
    5 shallots
    5 garlic
    1 inch ginger

    4 tbsp. oil
    3 tbsp. tomato sauce
    2 tbsp. chilli sauce
    1 tbsp. taucu beans
    1 tbsp. sugar
    ½ tsp. salt
    1 cup water
    ¼ cup corn flour slurry (1 tbsp. corn flour + ¼ cup water)
    1 egg

    Other Bits
    2 large flower crabs
    Spring onion for garnish
    6 man tou buns, fried


1. Clean and cut up crabs to manageable size. Get your fishmonger to do this to save time.

2. For the spices, grind all 5 ingredients (without hot water from dried chillis) into fine spice paste.

3. For the sauce, heat up oil in a wide wok and sauté spices on medium heat until it becomes fragrant. This should take about 3 – 4 minutes. Add in a little more oil if it gets too dry.

4. Pour in tomato sauce, chilli sauce, taucu beans, salt and sugar.

5. Bring it to a simmer and add in crabs with 1 cup of water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes until crabs are cooked. The shells will turn bright orange red.

6. Take out the crabs and transfer them onto a platter, leaving only the sauce in the wok. Pour in corn flour slurry and simmer until it becomes thick and saucy.

7. Beat egg and pour into simmering sauce. Stir in gently and let the eggs cook slightly for 30 seconds, resembling soft scrambled eggs. Adjust seasoning to taste.

8. Pour hot sauce all over crabs and garnish with chopped spring onions.

9. Heat some oil and deep fry man tou buns until golden brown. Serve it together with chilli crabs. Dig in!