Chilli Crab

Brown and white meat gives strong seafood flavour, while white is more delicate.

  • Preparation Time35 mins
  • Cooking Time10 mins
  • Serves2
  • DifficultyMedium

For the ginger 'juice'

475ml hot water
1 (2.5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 (4 x 4 cm) chunk rock sugar or 2 - 3 tbsps soft brown sugar

For the chilli sauce

270 ml water
5 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsps cornflour

For the crab

4 tbsp groundnut oil
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
3 medium red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
450g freshly cooked crab, inedible parts discarded, claws removed and cracked, legs removed, remaining shell chopped into quarters
150ml water
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

For the egg noodles

300g fine egg noodles or dried yellow Shi wheat flour noodles (can be found in specialty Asian stores), cooked, drained and drizzled with a little sesame oil to prevent sticking
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 spring onions, sliced lengthways, divided
Handful fresh coriander leaves and stalks, roughly chopped, divided
Notes: Since I came back from Shanghai, I have had an obsession with crabs and, inspired by my trip, I invented this dish. It is not quite a traditional recipe and you may be surprised by the use of ketchup, but it provides a delicious sweetness, which complements the spicy kick. Enjoy!

Tip: You can serve this recipe as a starter without the addition of the noodles and I like serving this dish washed down with some homemade ginger juice - which is a real balance of "Yin" and "Yang" as crabs are "Yin" and ginger is "Yang".

1) For the juice: heat the water in a small pan and add the ginger pieces. Bring to the boil, add the rock sugar, and let the juice simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, before serving.

2) For the sauce: add the water, ketchup, soy sauce, sugar, and cornstarch, to a bowl, and mix well. Set aside.

3) For the crab: heat a wok over a high heat and add the groundnut oil. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the crab to the wok and stir-fry for an additional one to two minutes. Stir in the chilli sauce, and cook for one minute, then add the water and lime juice.

4) For the egg noodles: combine the noodles and the chilli flakes and adjust their seasonings with the soy sauce. Toss the ingredients, and then stir in half of the spring onions and half of the chopped coriander.

5) To serve, plate the crab with the egg noodles and top with the remaining spring onion slices and cilantro. Serve immediately with a shot glass of ginger 'juice.'

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