Singapore Chilli Crab (with soft shell crab for less mess!)

Chilli crab is a national dish in Singapore and it’s easy to see why. The rich sauce is a perfect combination of a little bit sweet and a little bit spicy, and is so moreish you’ll be mopping your plate. Traditionally made using mud crabs with the shell on and eaten with your hands, things can get pretty messy! This version uses soft shell crabs, making preparation less stressful and a little simpler, and eating a lot less messy.
Serves 2-3 Cooking Time: 30-40 mins
3 banana shallots, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 red chillies, roughly chopped
2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp rice wine
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 heaped tsp tomato puree
6 prime soft shell crabs, halved
200ml chicken stock
2 tbsp oil
1 egg, beaten
2 spring onions, finely sliced
Small bunch of coriander leaves
  1. Defrost the soft shell crabs.
  2. Place the first four ingredients in a blender, blend until you have a rough paste and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Now blend the next six ingredients so they are well mixed
  4. Heat the oil in a wok over a medium heat, fry the paste gently for around 5 minutes until it starts to turn slightly brown and smells fragrant. Turn the heat up and add the blended sauce and cover with a lid, allow to boil for a. couple of minutes then add the crabs and stir to coat them in the sauce. Next add the chicken stock, cover with a lid and boil on a high heat for around 5 minutes until the crab is cooked.
  5. Turn off the heat and transfer the crabs to your serving plate. Allow the sauce to stand in the wok for a minute then slowly add the egg whilst stirring; the sauce will have a velvety texture.
  6. Pour the sauce over the crabs & garnish with chopped spring onions and coriander. Serve with steamed jasmine rice or steamed buns.