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Chinese New Year – Singapore Chili Crab

I used to work as a 747 pilot for Singapore Airlines and one of my favorite street vendor dishes was Spicy Singapore Chili crab. Stir-fried fresh crab is coated with a spicy sweet tomato-based sauce that has hints of Asian and Chinese flavors. The authentic recipe can be very complicated with fresh pounded chilies and herbs. Over the years, I’ve simplified the recipe using tomato ketchup as a base to speed up the sauce making process. Enjoy this dish with some steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables. It’s a great dish for special occasions such as Chinese New Year celebrations. I am often asked by my family to cook this so I’m posting this recipe for you to try, and I’ve provided an easy way to make this signature dish. Chili crab has been rated by CNN as one of the top 50 most delicious foods in the world. It’s a must have if you’re on a culinary adventure to Southeast Asia to places like Malaysia and Singapore.

  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x


Units Scale
  • 3 whole live Dungeness crab, cleaned, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 piece ginger, peeled, sliced
  • 1 bunch green onion, green part sliced into 2 inch segments; white part sliced
  • 1 large firm tomato, sliced into wedges
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoon, corn starch, dissolve in water to form a slurry


  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons Heinz distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon your fav hot sauce. I used Sriracha
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder or chicken paste


  1. Clean the crab and cut the crab body into four pieces. Reserve the shells
  2. Heat vegetable oil in hot wok until oil is just about to smoke. Add ginger slices and white parts of green onion. Stir fry until fragrant
  3. Add the crab and stir fry. Add the sauce and about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and let it come to a boil
  4. Remove when crab is cooked, about 150F internal temp when checked using instant read thermometer. Set crab aside
  5. Cook the crab shells until they turn pink. Remove and set aside
  6. Taste the sauce left in the wok and adjust seasonings and water to taste by adding more sugar, vinegar, or hot sauce to your liking
  7. Simmer the sauce and add tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes and when tomatoes are tender then add some of the cornstarch slurry. Stir and adjust more or less slurry to get to the consistency of egg drop soup that you get in a Chinese restaurant
  8. Stir in the beaten egg. When egg is cooked, add the cilantro
  9. Pour the finished sauce mixture over the cooked crab. Garnish with the shells facing out.
  • Author: Harry Soo
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Cuisine: Asian