Twenty Five years ago, today, at 8:39pm, we welcomed our first child into the world, an entire month early. What a Christmas miracle! Little did we know how our lives were about to change. Now he is a grown man, college graduate and out in the working world. For this special “25 on the 25th” birthday/Christmas dinner I want to serve a memorable feast worthy of the occasion. I have made Singapore Crab one time before and it was really tasty, a bit messy but fun to eat – a real crowd pleaser. It sounds perfect! Traditionally, Singapore Chili Crab is made with live crab but that is not my style. You can buy crab already cracked and cleaned which will save some time (and mess) but it’s not that difficult to do yourself. I have included directions below. I couldn’t find red chili peppers since they are out of season, so I used chili pepper paste. If you are using fresh chili peppers, make sure you wear gloves to protect your hands from the chili oil, which is almost impossible to remove from your skin. Singapore Chili Crab is a pretty spicy dish, so you may need to cut down on the chili peppers or use a less hot variety. Serve over rice or rice noodles and pair with a tossed green salad to offset the heat. Merry Christmas!
Singapore Chili Crab
2 whole Dungeness crab (cooked)
¾ cup ketchup
2 cups water
¼ cup cornstarch
1 Tbsn soy sauce
¾ cup vegetable oil
14 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup minced shallots
20 red chili peppers, minced with seeds (or chili pepper paste)
2 tsp lemon juice
2 eggs, beaten
6-8 scallions, minced
Crack and clean the crab. Make sure you make several cracks in each leg to allow the sauce to get inside. Directions below.
- In a large bowl, mix the ketchup, water, cornstarch and soy sauce.
- Heat a pan (large enough to fit the crab) and saute the garlic and shallots in the oil for a few minutes. Add chili peppers and saute for a few more minutes. Pour sauce mixture into the pan and stir to combine.
- Add the crab and mix to evenly coat. Cover and let simmer until the crab is heated through.
- Remove cover and add the lemon juice. Stir in the beaten egg. Sprinkle with scallions to serve.
CRACKING AND CLEANING A CRAB
- Place the cooked crab on a cutting board on its back. Hold the body in one hand and gently twist each of the legs and claws off with the other. Set them aside.
- Remove the tail flap and both flaps near the eyes. Discard.
- Pull off the back shell and remove the ‘dead man’, the spongy gills and the orange ‘skin’.
- Rinse the body then cut in quarters.
- Using a metal or wooden meat tenderizer, give several hammers to each leg, enough to crack the shell and allow access to the meat.