Dry Chilli Crab in Bean Paste

Friday, June 02, 2017

I have yet to out up a crab recipe on this blog.

I love crabs. It is at the top of my list and in my bachelor days, often I will while the night away with some good friends chatting over a few plates of it.

Crab recipes were one of the first I tried to learn from my Mum. I started with chilli crabs and this bean paste recipe, which is easy to do and very delicious. In general, I prefer the dry crab recipes like this one and the popular black pepper ones.

When my brother brought crabs from Ipoh, this is the dish my Mum will make. The crabs caught in the local rivers and swamps around Ipoh are generally smaller than other mud crabs – but the meat is sweet. Cooked this way, the crabs pick up the sauce and ingredients like egg and curry leaves very well.

Seafood has to be cooked quickly over a strong fire. Given the limitations of a home kitchen stove, stir-fry crab dishes are best prepared in two stages. Deep fry the crabs first in smaller batches first in oil. Then stir-fry the sauce and add the cooked crabs back in to the mix.

You can use this method for other crab dishes such as Black Pepper Crab. I don’t expect you to cook this regularly for your dinner table. Once in a while, it is good to enjoy some home-cooked crabs with your family and friends, where you can take all the time you want to enjoy every edible part of the crab. A good crab meal should never be rushed. And when you cook it yourself, as always, you get good value for money. 

The hardest thing about cooking crabs is the need for you to clean and cut it up. Most wet market stalls can do that for you. 


2 kg (4.4 lbs)  crabs
250 ml (1 cup) oil
1 tbsp light bean paste
2 tbsps chilli paste
1 tbsp curry powder
10 slices ginger
5 cloves garlic, sliced.
25 g (1 cup) curry leaves
1 cup water with 1 tsp of corn flour (slurry)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsps soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 stalks spring onions, cut into 2½-cm (1-in) lengths

  1. Prepare and put in place all the ingredients, as the cooking time is brief.
  2. Heat up the oil over medium to high heat and deep-fry the crabs in small batches till they are golden. Remove and set aside. 
  3. Mix the curry power in some water to make a paste This is to prevent the powder from burning up when added to the oil. 
  4. In 3 tablespoons of the oil that has been used for frying the crabs, fry the bean paste, chilli paste, curry powder paste, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and curry leaves. Add the corn flour in water slurry. Simmer for 2 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust if necessary. 
  5. Put the crabs back in and mix them with the sauce.  Stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and spring onions. Stir fry for a minute and dish up.
Serve immediately.

You Might Also Like