6 Easy Steps: Chili Crab

Chili Crab. The eggy, sweet, sour, and spicy sauce makes this dish ideal for a crab feast or serving guests.

Chinese New Year is coming, and I know many of you are looking for new recipes to serve your loved ones. This post comes at the perfect time. This “chili crab” from Singapore, which I feel obligated to share with you, is made of crab in a sour and spicy sauce.

In addition to my late mother’s chili crab dish (which is equally delicious), this version with the eggy, sugary, and spicy sauce is ideal for visitors of all ages or simply for crab feasts.

Whether steamed or fried, Chinese mantou is a perfect vehicle for the hot and sour sauce, soaking up the sauce like a sponge. With their plumpness and softness, the steamed buns are much more appealing to me.

Last weekend, I served this to some close friends, and they urged me to post the recipe online. I bought them a “starting kit” of ingredients for this dish at an Asian grocery.

For the crab, we are fortunate since Dungeness crab is in season and the store will clean and cut it up for you at no additional cost. Pick out the tamale or mustard from the inside of the shell and save the shell.

Sauces made with these ingredients are so tasty that you won’t want to stop eating them. There are a variety of crabs that might be used in this recipe, but I prefer Dungeness crab since it is so juicy and flavorful. Each serving of this recipe has only 415 calories.



  • 2 kg of Dungeness crab
  • 12 steamed buns
  • 3 minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 2 cm of peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of corn starch
  • 1 beaten egg
  • salt


  • 5 tablespoons of Lingham’s hot sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon of lime juice or Chinese rice vinegar


  1. Drain the crab, discard the water that leaked, then cut the crab into six pieces. Select and set aside the tamale or mustard from the crab shell. The shell should be thrown away.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the Sour and Spicy Sauce ingredients. Set aside for now.
  3. Pour the oil into the hot pan and let it cook for a few minutes. When the oil ready or hot, add the minced garlic and ginger and cook for a few minutes until brown and become fragrant.
  4. Stir in the crab and the tamale for about 10 seconds before serving. Then add the Sour and Spicy Sauce and toss everything together until the crab is evenly coated with the sauce. Allow the wok to cook for around 4-5 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Add the cornstarch mixture to the sauce in a slow, steady stream as the wok is opened. The sauce should thicken as a result of your efforts. Make a couple of quick stirs in the sauce to ensure the egg is uniformly dispersed.
  6. Add up a pinch of salt to taste for the final 30 seconds or so of cooking. Serve with the piping hot buns right away.


For the best result, I definitely recommend Lingham’s Hot Sauce. It’s available online and at Asian grocers.

Alternatively, Sriracha can be used in place of Lingham’s Hot Sauce if you can’t locate any. Be sure to adjust the amount to your personal preference because Sriracha is quite spicy. If you’re going to use Sriracha, you’ll want to sweeten it up.

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