The national food of Singapore may be Hainanese Chicken Rice but the most popular seafood is probably Chilli Crab. This is one dish where Singaporeans would love to 'show off' and give their friends a treat whenever there is a chance of one visiting Singapore.
When in Singapore, East Coast Seafood Centre is the food arena where everyone would flock to during the weekends to get their dosage of Chili Crab. The most popoular restaurant? Jumbo Seafood Restaurant! (No, I don't work for this restaurant nor am I a shareholder ;-))
The best type of crab used to cook Chilli Crab is mud crab although some other crabs like flower crab & soft shell crab may be used alternatively. Mud crabs (mangrove crab, black crab) are found in mangroves & estuaries of Asia countries like Sri Lanka & Indonesia. Mud crabs are characterised by its juicy flesh and best cooked with its shell on as pictured. I've had some of the best mud crab as a child and the way it was cooked was simply to boil it in hot steaming water. It's the freshest seafood and one of the tastiest I've ever had. Yum yum! Eating crab with one's hands can be quite messy and you do need to be 'trained' to 'dissect' a crab. I had great fun learning it from an uncle as a child of 7 or 8! Loving childhood memories which involves crab! LOL!
In Singapore, the Chilli Crab dish was created by a local chef 60 years ago. The sauce is usually tomato & chili paste mixture, semi-thick & stir-fried with some eggs. When cooked, the dish is served with French baguette or Chinese mantou which soaked up the chili sauce well and makes it a great combo. Do not waste the sauce, it's truly heavenly! Just get more bread if there's some left, or even pack it home for supper! You won't regret it :-)
Eating Chili crab is really an art, but it's finger licking good! Definitely a must-try! Do not miss it! A Japanese online friend with his friend came visiting a few years ago & all he wanted to eat was Chilli Crab! Amazing, isn't it?
For those who want to look more respectable ;-) when eating crabs, you may try the Black Pepper Crab instead. It is dryer and fragrant with pepper. Finger licking good!!!
Black Pepper Crab
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I'm a traveler at heart & have been nicknamed Travel Queen by friends & colleagues alike. Traveling has been my life passion for the last decade or so. As we enter a new decade, I'm excited … more
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Chili crab is a seafood dish originating from Singapore. It was created in 1950 by Singaporean chef, Madam Cher Yam Tian with her husband, Mr Lim Choon Ngee. The couple ran Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant on Upper East Coast Road (near the present day East Coast Seafood Centre.) Mud crabs are commonly used and are stir-fried in a semi-thick, sweet and savoury tomato and chilli based sauce. It can be widely found at Malaysian and Singaporean seafood hawker stalls, kopi tiams or restaurants. Despite its name, chili crab is not a very spicy dish.