Chili Crab (Crab in Sour and Spicy Sauce)
January 30th, 2011 40 Comments

Chili Crab (Crab in Sour and Spicy Sauce)

PinterestFollow me
FacebookLike Me


Chili Crab (Crab in Sour and Spicy Sauce) Recipe


2 – 2.5 lb┬áDungeness crab
3 tablespoons oil
3 garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water (mix well)
1 egg, beaten
Salt to taste
12 steamed buns or mantou

Sour and Spicy Sauce

5 tablespoons ketchup
5 tablespoons Lingham’s Hot Sauce
1 heaping tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice vinegar or lime juice to taste
1 cup water


Clean the crab and cut into 6 pieces, drain the crab and discard the water seeping out of the crab. Pick out the tamale (or mustard) inside the crab shell, set aside. Discard the shell.

Mix all the ingredients in the Sour and Spicy Sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat up a wok and add the oil. When the oil is heated, add the minced garlic and ginger and stir fry until aromatic or when they turn slightly brown. Add the crab and the tamale into the wok, stirring for about 10 seconds. Add the Sour and Spicy Sauce, stir to blend well with the crab. Cover the wok with its lid and let cook for about 4-5 minutes.

Uncover the wok and slowly add the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Stir the sauce until it thickens. Add the egg into the sauce and stir a few times so the egg is distributed evenly in the sauce. Cook for another 30 seconds or so, add salt to taste if needed. Dish out and serve immediately with the steaming hot buns.

Cook’s Notes:

If you can’t find Chinese steamed buns where you are, you can try out this recipe by Almost Bourdain.
I strongly recommend Lingham’s Hot Sauce for the best result. You can purchase it online at
If you can’t find Lingham’s Hot Sauce, you can make this dish with Sriracha but do adjust the quantity according to your taste as Sriracha is very spicy. If you use Sriracha, do add sugar into the sauce.

Tagged as:

40 comments... read them below or add one

  1. LimeCake says:

    Oh my gosh that looks fantastic! I’m in Singapore right now, coincidentally, and I think I might just have to have this for dinner tonight!

  2. Lily G says:

    Have a great trip and Happy Chinese New Year!

  3. Kelantan Gal says:

    Have a safe journey home. Can’t wait for you to share all the good-eats you will have.
    Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  4. Irene says:

    Geeze, this is my favourite dish from kid til now. I love it very much

  5. Yum! We’d love for you to share your stuff with us over at!

  6. I can definitely unable to say no to this dish… the gravy alone is to die for!

  7. My mouth is WATERING! YUM!
    Happy New Year!

  8. daphne says:

    Thanks for sharing. It’s really hard to beat a slurpy man tao soaked up with chili crab sauce! Happy CNY to you.

  9. Simon says:

    I’m soo jealous Bee. I really want to try and squeeze in a trip to thailand and malaysia. Just savin up for a Nikon D7000 first. This looks extremely nice. I’m actually inspired to learn how to cook malay food more, and open my town’s first asian restaurant serving some simple nyonya items on the menu.

    Have a nice trip, and enjoy yourself in the place i badly wish i could go now. How does this sauce go with for example chicken?. Was just thinking, because unfortunately my stomach doesn’t agree too well with sea food.

  10. Razzleberry says:

    Happy New Year and Happy eating in Singapore! My mouth is watering and now I am craving some crab after seeing your pictures! I can’t wait for the nightly fisherman’s market where they sell fresh caught seafood at the pier in San Pedro…That isn’t until Friday night. :( Until then, I’ll just try not to chew my labtop.

  11. Rabeeya says:

    I was wondering… Would this work well with Prawns/shrimps? peeled and de-veined. I have some large prawns on hand, frozen. And I am looking for a nice recipe with a good sauce for them.

  12. Alta says:

    Yum. Its only 5:30 am here but i want this.

  13. Maya says:

    Hi Bee – another great crab recipe! Happy CNY to you and your family and have a wonderful trip home!

  14. Joni Lee says:

    my ultimate FAVORITE dish.. thanks for posting! Happy Chinese New Year! really enjoy your website.

  15. Su-yin says:

    I just made this last week! Great minds ;) I made it with prawns though as it’s very hard to find fresh crabs here…

  16. This is one of my favorites to have when I’m in Singapore and my favorite is the buns dipped in the sauce, probably even more so than the crab ;)

  17. I love chili crab, looks so delicious. Wish you and your family a Happy Lunar New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai!

  18. Just in time! I might try this by weekend. :) Thanks!

  19. Sweet Tim says:

    My husband loves crabs, so I think this is a good recipe to start with for CNY! Gong Xi Fa Cai to you!

  20. Dorach says:

    Cooked this tonight using the biggest prawns I could find. It is super duper yummy. Made a memorable CNY eve dinner, as per your suggestion :-)

  21. The crab looks so delicious! I miss seafood a lot! This recipe is something that I should really try. Thanks a lot.

  22. Jeune says:

    I have always wanted to try Chili Crab! This looks like a recipe that is easy to make :)

    One look at the picture though and I somehow got the feeling that there was ketchup in it. I am not so sure about that though.

  23. Madeline says:

    Thank you for sharing the delicious crab recipe. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy new year! Have a great trip!

  24. Tao Tao says:

    Indeed, looks fantastic!
    And as for me – the spicier, the better :-)

  25. That looks amazing. Never thought of using Lingham’s before. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. That final shot of the mantou dunked into sauce is glorious! I’m not sure if I can find that particular brand of hot sauce so is there any other (common) brand that you think is a good substitute?

  27. lc tan says:

    Difficult to cut live crabs. Can I use soft crabs, the ones that are already sold “dead”. Thks.

  28. David Tan says:

    Your concoction of Chilli Crab really got me & my whole family salivating.

    Will try out your recipe this weekend!

  29. noobcook says:

    The sauce with the mantou is really shiok! Happy CNY to you and your loved ones :)

  30. Marion Montgomery says:

    On our honeymoon in Singapore in 1987, we went to the east shore before the redevelopment. Tables and chairs set on the dirt around the cook fires, no menus, just say what you want. Chili crab, wanted to take a bath in the sauce! I made this on Super Bowl Sunday, delicious! Sopped up all the sauce, the crab was good,too!

  31. sarah says:

    Hi, if i do not want to use the Shaoxing wine, what can i use to replace it..

  32. Hoi says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made this on the weekend and the sauce is spot on. It brought back all the memories of chilli crab from Singapore. This is a keeper.

  33. stewartc says:

    Wow – how has it taken me this long to find your website??? It is fantastic! Tried this crab after wanting to re-create what I had in Singapore and it is delicious and very authentic. Everyone raved about it. Congratulations!

  34. Tieu-Linh says:

    Are there any other alternatives to the Shaoxing wine? Or is it a must?

  35. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for sharing. I love to sift some flour / corn flour or tapioca flour onto the cut side of the crab, then pan fry with some oil to golden the dish up. I will use spring onion — the white part to add more aroma, fry them with the sliced ginger and garlic.
    Since you have buns or mantou, I will deep fry them in hot oil and remove once they are slightly golden, dish up then deep fry the crabs !! Once awhile to eat the deep fried buns or mantou, is ok. A restaurant served deep fried mamtou with curry chicken too !! Yummy !!
    Chinese New Year is at the corner, wishing you and your family always Healthy and Happy and Wealthy !!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Thanks for visiting Rasa Malaysia, #9 most popular cooking blog. Please like Rasa Malaysia on Facebook, join email or RSS for new recipes!

Facebook  |  Email  |  RSS