World’s BEST Singapore Chilli Crab Recipe

David Parry’s Chilli Crab Recipe

This recipe is based on a food trip I took to Pongol point in Singapore, it can be used with any crab even soft shell crabs….

Serves 2

  • 2 1kg crabs cleaned
  • 3 tblsp veg oil
  • 10 Thai style shallots, diced fine
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced fine
  • 1 lrg knob of ginger (50g) grate on micro plan
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tblsp tomato ketchup (recipe follows)
  • 2 tblsp caster sugar
  • 60g ground roasted peanuts
  • Rempah (recipe follows)
  • Crusty bread to serve and mop up the juices

Tomato ketchup

  • 15 ripe tomatoes, cored
  • 500ml peanut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, fine diced
  • 2 knobs ginger, fine diced
  • roast tomatoes in oven until soft (180 for 10 min) and force through a food mill. Heat oil in Pan and fry paste until fragrant
  • Add tomato puree and simmer for 40min, until it is reduced so far that it is frying in the oil.
  • Store in sterilized Jars until needed.


  • 5 red chillies
  • 10 dried chillies (rehydrate)
  • 1 tblsp shrimp paste
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1 knob galangal
  • 4 candle nuts toasted
  • roast shrimp paste in oven for 3 min to release oils, slice and pound all ingredients to a fine paste in mortar and pestle – just add hardest to softest ingredients.


Clean crab well and cut into 6, also keeping the head and coral, crack the claws and legs with a pestle.

Heat oil in a wok until very hot, fry shallots, garlic, and ginger for 2 min, then add Rempah and stir fry for 1 min.

Add crab and stir fry, add water, stir and cover until crab is cooked (10min) topping the water up if needed so the crab is steaming in the Chilli sauce.

Reduce the water down to original paste and add sugar, stir fry until lightly caramelized, then add the tom ketchup. Simmer to combine the flavors, then add

the crushed peanuts.

To serve

Place in a large bowl, top with Chiffonade of kaffir lime leave, coriander and basil, and of cause the crusty bread to mop up.

Enjoy…David Parry

A little bit about Exec Chef David Parry


David started culinary career in 1988, under task master John forest (Armstrong’s famed chef) in port Douglas famed Nautilus restaurant, then overseas to London, to work under John Touroge in Sir Terrance Conrad restaurants for 3 yrs as Sous Chef, Blue birds, Mezzo, Mezzanine, quaglinos to name a few, then leaving with Michael Macenearney (Rock pool) to open The Pharmacy in Nothing Hill for controversial artist Damien Hirst, after one year here David moved on to become a personal chef in Spain for European royalty,  which open a door for the next ten years of traveling the globe as a personal chef to Pamela Anderson, Tom Hanks, and leading business clients across the globe.

In 2005 David moved home back to his roots and opened ‘The Living room’ in Port Douglas with Steve Ritchie.   In 2009 David was approached to take on the once loved ‘On The Inlet‘ and bring it back to its former glory, that year winning best seafood restaurant in north Queensland.

David’s skills are now taking him back overseas to open a restaurant in Newport Beach, in the famed OC.


9 Responses to World’s BEST Singapore Chilli Crab Recipe

  1. Always on the look out for a fabulous Chilli Crab recipe, and this one looks divine!! Many thanks – will try it and report back. CM

  2. The recipe sounds great but is that really 500 ml of oil for the ketchup? That’s half a litre.
    How much tomato puree should be added?

  3. Just made the singaporean chilli crab. It was amaaazing used live mud crab, got my fishmonger to clean and cut up. I used bean thread noodles at the bottom of each bowl to infuse all the juices, all fresh ingredients is the only way to go. One thing I never do is improvise ingredients. it says Candle nut I use candle nut ect ect.

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