cookshowandtell, Dinner Recipes
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Recipe : Chilli mud crabs

Mud crabs are cheap and in season


Call me crazy, but I actually prefer mud crabs over lobsters. Yes there is less meat, but I find the meat is alot sweeter. Another plus is that they are considerebly cheaper especially at this time of year. I popped down to my local fish monger and these male crabs were going for only $28/kg, with female ones going for $33/kg. Depending on what I do with them , I prefer the male crabs if I’m having it chilli style with lots of sauce.  But if I’m having it with noodles I definately prefer the roe in the female crabs.

I purchased three crabs which easily fed six people. I decided to make two versions with the three crabs I bought. One would be my favourite, chilli style with plenty of sauce. The second would be the usual ginger and shallots style with vermicelli noodles (I’ll post about this one later). My Mum use to avoid cooking crabs because our stove wasn’t hot enough, but ever since we got this new gas stove there is no excuse!

In terms of recipes, there are so many variations of chilli mud crab on the interwebs. I loosely based mine on this one. I think it’s best to experiment with what you think is right for your taste buds, especially if copious amounts of chilli is not your cup of tea. I modified a few things and added fish sauce, Sriracha chilli sauce and got rid of the sugar because I thought the tomato and sweet chilli sauce was going to add enough sweetness.


Chilli mud crab (Adapted from chezannies)
Serves 6

  • 2 mud crabs (2kg in total) 
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • A couple squirts of Sriracha chilli sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch 
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 
  • 1-1/2 inch ginger, chopped fine 
  • 2 shallots, sliced thinly 
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2-3 chilli’s
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • Shallots and coriander for garnish

1. There are a few ways to killing a crab. You can freeze them until they are killed, or if you don’t have time then stick a knife or chopstick into it’s chest. I’ll leave the choice upto you :)

2. Prepare the crabs by cleaning them thoroughly, then cut them into four or five parts and crack the claws. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, just make sure it’s not demolished into a heap of goo. 


2. Heat up the wok and while this is happening create the sauce by mixing tomato, sweet chilli and chilli sauce, cornstarch, chicken stock, water (optional), fish sauce

3. Add the oil, garlic, chilli and ginger to the wok and cook till fragant and brown

4. Add the crabs and toss them around the wok briefly


5. Add the sauce and toss the crabs around the sauce and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling cover the wok and let everything simmer for around 10-15 minutes.

6. Once this is done, if the crabs are bright orange then you are done. Pour the eggs into the wok and toss everything around until the eggs are cooked.


7. Check out that sauce, how yummy does it look ? Your done! Plate it all up and garnish with spring onions.



I like to eat mine with crusty hot bread, it does a great job of soaking up all the sauce. I could eat this sauce by itself even without the crab. 



  1. I’ve always thought that Singapore crab was had with rice so found the bread an interesting variation. I agree wholeheartedly about the lobster comment. I’d even go so far as to say I’d prefer prawns over lobster. As much as I love crab, the relatively low yield to effort ratio can be offputting if I’m tired or not bothered.

    How did you end up “offing” your crabs?

  2. Looks great! I still haven’t posted about it, but I ate Chilli Crab in Singapore on Chinese New Year that was so spicy it made me hallucinate. Looks great, though I don’t think that my old stove is up to the challenge unfortunately.

    lili – pikeletandpie’s last blog post..est. birthday dinner

  3. Ah that looks awesome. I’m definitely more of a mud crab person too. I’ll bookmark your recipe and give it a go some time.

    Y’s last blog post..Easter Fare

  4. ah! we did this just the other day! and oh the disappointment, the crabs we bought were horrible and old and half way to dying but the sauce was a wonder! and i gave up on my horrible not-so-meaty crabs and spent the rest of the meal eating bread & sauce. bonus :)

    (i’m with you on the crabs over lobster thing – go crabs!)

    shez’s last blog post..ricotta & spinach mix

  5. Oohh chilli crab… they look really yummy. I’ve always shy-ed away from cooking crabs (I don’t know how to clean and chop them up) but after reading this posts I just might give it a try 😉 or should I go to Temasek instead? hehe

    foodie-central’s last blog post..Red Neds Gourmet Pie Bar

  6. Simon : Most restaurants serve it with some form of bread, there is one which even serves it with roti. In Singapore I noticed they have it with fried bread.

    Lili : I had some of the best crab in Singapore, their sauce is amazing. There is special something about having chilli crabs with beer on a dodgy side street in Singapore!

    Y : Mud crabs seem to be the winner with everyone, glad I’m not the only one.

    Reemski : You definately need to give it a go! Most Chinese restaurants should serve it.

    Nate : Yes it was perfect, but it might have been because of the excess sweet chilli sauce. Thanks for the recipe!

    Whiteonricecouple : Cheers! I love the sight of the chill mud crab sauce, makes me drool everytime when I’m hungry too.

    Shez : Shame about the crabs! They can be a hit and a miss, I’m still not an expert on judging what is a good crab or not … as long as it’s alive but apparently if you pick them up and they don’t fight back then they are halfway to dying , or if they smell funky.

    Arwen : I havn’t tried the sauce with anything else, but it would be great stir fried with egg noodles.

    Foodie Central : Temasek has some pretty good crab, can’t say mine is as good as their one though! Cleaning and chopping is easy once you’ve done it once :)

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  8. Thanks for such a great recipe! I hate seafood, but Singaporean Chilli crab is my boyfriend’s favourite, so I decided to give it a bash for him. I was really happy at how quick and easy it was, and when I tasted some of the sauce it was awesome. He really loved it, and now I’m getting hounded by the family to make it for them too.

    Amy’s last blog post..Well, I came upon a dancing crab, and I stopped to watch it shake

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  10. WayneS says

    empty your crabs on the back lawn and cut them in half with a shovel..theyre dead then. Clean them out and throw them in the Wok.. mix tomato sauce, oyster sauce, coconut milk, chillis, chilli sauce and ginger…cook real slow…sometimes i throw in some curry powder YUMMO

  11. Mate, I live in cairns Qld after spending 20+ years in the top end of the NT and I can tell you that the muddy is the finest eating seafood around … yep, they take some effort but once you have the meat extracted, mixed with grated ginger, garlic and heaps of chopped chili there’s no better summer meal than chilli crab on buttered rye bread with a couple stubbies VB :-)

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  13. nigel j says

    Firstly guys me n my partner would like to say thankyou for an awesum Dina very very yum:-) we are keen to try variations with the sauce the crab was to die for :-) we,are very keen to try with prawns , scallops, bugs will let u know how we go once again thanks for awesum meal :-)

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