(This chili crab recipe is from my archive but I have just made it today and updated with new photos, shot with Canon T1i. The new Canon 5D Mark II is reserved for my cookbook.)
My mother was a fantastic cook. Coming from a small fishing village in the state of Kedah, she made killer dishes with seafood, especially chili crab. With this post, I give my utmost tribute and applause to my late mother for her cooking skills and this very special family recipe.
Growing up, I would always look forward to visiting my mother’s hometown; as a matter of fact, I would ask my parents to take me there. My intentions were not completely pure, I must confess; other than being able to play on the beach and dig siput (a type of clams), my bigger motivation was that she would bring back the freshest, meatiest, and juiciest catch of green mud crabs from my uncle who was a fisherman. I was always brimming with excitement at the thought of devouring this dish.
Eating home-cooked chili crab was a celebration in my family—the preparation (imagine “capturing” those feisty crabs that “escaped” the nets and roamed freely in the kitchen!), the cooking, and of course, the eating. It was sheer fun; lots of fun.
While this dish is traditionally prepared with green mud crab in Malaysia, I used a 2-lb Dungeness crab. If you can’t find green mud crab or Dungeness crab in your area, you can always use another crab—stone crab or blue crab. If you are in New York City, call yourself lucky as you can just hop straight to Fatty Crab in the meat packing district and order this dish. Chef Zak Pelaccio’s serves a Malaysian-style chili crab at his restaurant.
Feast your eyes now with my pictures, but I hope you get a chance to try this chili crab recipe. Please take note that this chili crab recipe is not Singaporean-style chili crab which is made with a tomato-based sauce; this is adapted from my family’s chili crab recipe.