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+ servings

Chili Crab Recipe

Chili Crab is a very popular dish in Malaysia and Singapore. This is an easy chili crab recipe that anyone can make at home. A family chili crab recipe.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Malaysian
Keyword Chili Crab
Servings 4 people
Calories 131 kcal


  • 1 Dungeness crab, about 2 lb size
  • 1 coriander sprig, chopped for garnishing only
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind juice
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/4 cup water

Spice Paste:

  • 8 dried red chilies, soaked in hot water and deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon taucheo, soy bean paste/sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch fresh ginger

Tamarind Juice:

  • 5 seeds of tamarind
  • water


  1. Clean the crab and chop it into pieces. Save the green and juicy stuff inside the shell and set aside.

  2. Pound the spice paste with a mortar and pestle or grind them using a food processor. Make sure that the spice paste is finely blended or pounded.

  3. Soak the tamarind seeds in some warm water for 15 minutes. Extract the juice and discard the seeds.

  4. Heat up your wok and add cooking oil.

  5. Stir fry the spice paste until fragant and spicy.

  6. Add the crab and 1/4 cup of water and do a quick stir. Cover the wok with its cover for 3 minutes.

  7. Add the green and juicy stuff from the shell and stir well.

  8. Add in sugar, tamarind juice, a little salt to taste and continue stirring for about 2 minutes or until all crab pieces turned red.

  9. Dish up, garnish with chopped scallions and serve hot.

Recipe Notes

If you are not sure how to clean the crab, you should get the Dungeness crab in Asian stores. They usually provide the cleaning and chopping services.

Use a mortar (or other similar kitchen tools) to crack the shells of the crab before cooking. You can also use this recipe for cooking crab claws.

If you do, make sure you crack the claws before cooking so the spices infuse the meat.

Nutrition Facts
Chili Crab Recipe
Amount Per Serving (4 people)
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 222mg10%
Potassium 168mg5%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 130IU3%
Vitamin C 2.6mg3%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.