Try this Singapore chilli crab recipe from chef Edoardo Pellicano, then also check out our crab linguine, crab cacio e pepe and more crab recipes.

Edoardo says, "I love a Singapore staple simply called ‘chilli crab’. This dish of fresh or Dungeness crab is fried in a sweet and spicy sauce. Egg thickens the broth and tomato ketchup adds to the vibrant orange colour of the cooked crabs. Be sure to have some bread at hand so you can mop up every last bit."

This is a recipe that Edoardo shared as part of his guide to Singaporean cuisine. Check it out to learn about hawker centres, laksa soup, traditional Singaporean coffee and more.

Edoardo Pellicano grew up surrounded by the food of his Italian restaurant-owning father and Chinese-Singaporean mother. He’s currently executive chef of Mãos, a unique dining experience at the Blue Mountain School in London.

Edoardo's recipe tip: "Ask your fishmonger to cook the crabs for you, or buy them ready-cooked, then you can remove the legs and body, discard the dead man’s fingers (gills) and chop the shell and body into quarters."

Singapore chilli crab recipe



  • 150g dried chillies, soaked in warm water until soft
  • 3 candlenuts or macadamias
  • 2cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2cm piece galangal, chopped
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
  • 200g long shallots, chopped
  • 1 tbsp belachan (shrimp paste)
  • sugar, to taste


  • neutral oil, for frying
  • 6 tbsp rumpah, see above
  • 300ml tomato ketchup
  • 2 (about 1kg each) whole brown crabs, cooked and chopped into pieces
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp cornflour


  • STEP 1

    To make the rumpah, put all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until completely smooth. Tip into a large non-stick frying pan and cook gently for 1 hour, stirring regularly, until darkened. Cool and chill until needed – this will keep for a couple of days in the fridge, or you can divide it into portions and freeze.

  • STEP 2

    To make the chilli crab, heat a wok with a little oil, then fry the rumpah for 5 minutes. Add half the ketchup and fry for a few more minutes. Add the crab, along with a good splash of water, then fry for 2 minutes, turning to coat in the sauce. Put on a lid and simmer for 5 minutes until the crab has warmed through. Season to taste with the sugar and salt. Add the remaining ketchup and a splash of water to make it saucy.

  • STEP 3

    Add the eggs and fry everything together. Mix the cornflour with a little water to make a thin paste. Add half of the cornflour paste and simmer until thickened, adding more of the cornflour and cooking it in the same way if needed. Season to taste before serving.

Find more inspiration for crab recipes

Quick and Easy Cacio E Pepe Recipe with Crab

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