We now pass to you the secret recipe for this to-die-for MALAYSIAN STYLE chilli crabs…
5 flower crabs, cleaned and broken into 3-4 pieces each
1 onion, diced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 tbsp tomato ketchup or tomato paste
3 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 /2 tsp dark soy sauce, optional (for richer color)
1/2 tbsp tapioca starch or corn starch
1 1/2 cups water
Dash of salt or to taste
Chopped spring onions for garnish
Chili spice paste (makes 4 tbsp)
6 fresh red chilies
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp bean paste
How to prepare the crabs:
1. Rinse and clean each crab with water.
2. Remove the top shell by pulling it off.
3. Turn the crab upside down, cut away the flap in the middle of the back.
4. Using a chopper knife or another strong kitchen tool (a stone pestle in my case), crack the body and claws open. The flower crabs have softer shells, so you can break the crab into half or into three-four parts quite easily.
5. After you break the crab into pieces, rinse it over again.
6. Now the crabs are ready to be cooked.
Cooking the crabs:
1. In large wok, add 2 to 3 tbsp oil. Let oil heat for a moment, then add the chili spice paste and grated ginger. Stir-fry on medium fire for a minute until fragrant.
2. Throw in crab pieces, onions, chili sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
3. Add 1 cup of water and stir everything together. Cover for 4 minutes.
4. Stir in tapioca starch. As the liquid dries out, add the last 1/2 cup water.
5. Turn the heat up, and cook for 5 minutes, bringing the sauce to a boil. The crabs are done when the shells turn a beautiful dark orange and the flesh turns opaque.
6. Serve the crabs on a platter and garnish with chopped spring onions.
This special recipe is adapted from www.seasonwithspice.com