Singaporean Chili Crab
By Violet Oon
1 cup water
5 tablespoons Del Monte tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
1 ½ teaspoon corn flour
¼ teaspoon salt
8 cloves garlic
8 fresh red chilies
3 tablespoons corn oil
One 2 lb crab – cleaned and prepared for cooking
1 large egg
2 spring onion (scallions), cut into finger lengths
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 small bunch cilantro, for garnish
1. Whisk all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Pound or process the garlic and chilies to a rough paste. Heat the oil in a wok or shallow saucepan over high heat. Add the garlic and chilies and stir fry for 3–4 minutes till fragrant.
2. Add the crabs and stir fry for 3 -4 4 minutes until the shells turn slightly red and then add the sauce. Stir well, cover the wok and simmer for 10 minutes till the shells turn bright red, and this indicates that the crabs are cooked.
3. Break the egg into the wok and mix well and then simmer the sauce for 10 seconds. Turn off the heat and stir in the spring onions, and the lime or lemon juice. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.
To prepare crab:
Mud crabs, readily available in Singapore, are bought while still alive. Live Dungeness crabs can be purchased from Asian markets with fresh seafood department in the U.S. Kill the crab by piercing the underside with a knife. Peel off the shell and chop the body into 4 – 8 pieces. Twist off the claws and crack them. Wash well and drain.