Chilli Crab is typically a dish that is common when one is dining at a seafood restaurant. It is one of the tastiest dishes for anyone who loves seafood where it is both a challenge as well as an achievement to enjoy. It is said that a seafood restaurant’s reputation often hinges on whether how well they cook the Chilli Crab which pretty much sets the benchmark of quality in the dishes.
For those who are familiar with this, Chilli Crab can often be quite costly where it could go to around RM50 per kilogram. It is said that the dish actually came from Singapore but has since been localized by the restaurants in the country. The main trick of cooking great Chilli Crab is in its gravy. The crab is first steamed using ginger while some cooks would fry them. After that, they will prepare the gravy which is made from various types of spices. Ketchup sauce is used here while chilli is the main ingredient. Cornstarch is added to give make the gravy thicker and eggs are then added in for more aroma. In most cases, the shell of the crabs is cracked a little so that the customer would not have to use too much effort to reach the meat. From there, the crabs are then fried together with the gravy, allowing the flavour to seep into the meat.
Chilli Crabs are best eaten not with rice but with steamed buns or known also as ‘Man Tou’. At certain restaurants, toasted or normal bread are used. Among the best places to go and try this would be at Fei Lou Hai Restaurant or Fatty Crab located at Taman Megah. There is also the Tai Fok Restaurant in Kepong which is very well-known for its Chilli Crab while the seafood restaurants along Jalan Nipah in Pandamaran in Klang too are nationwide favourites.
Chilli Crab Recipe
Mud crab, well washed and chopped into sections
2 brown onions, peeled and roughly chopped
8 red chillies
Belacan, thumb size piece
½ tbsp vinegar
6 tbsp oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
400ml tomato puree
4 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp corn or potato starch, mixed in ½ cup of water
Coriander leaves, to garnish
Blend onions and chillis in a food processor for 30 seconds.
Heat oil in a wok and add onion and chilli paste.
Add belacan and continue to cook until most of the liquid from the onions evaporates.
Add vinegar, tomato puree, tomato paste, sugar and salt.
Add tomato sauce, starch and light soy sauce.
Add crab pieces and continue to cook over high heat until shell turns red.
Add egg and stir through gently.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.