HOG's Singapore Chili Crabs

2 tbsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup hot water
2 1/2 tbsp sambal (hot chili garlic paste)
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp avocado oil
4 whole scallions
sliced thin
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger
peeled and minced
1 tsp curry powder
3 whole kaffir lime leaves
4 cloves garlic
2 whole Dungeness crabs
cooked and cracked
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro
chopped, for garnish
  • heat-friendly bowl
  • whisk
  • wok
We adapted this recipe from one of our clients, Hands on Gourmet (aka HOG). We found it tricky to work with the "seedless" block of tamarind we used for it, so we added a step to use hot water to facilitate the processing. This delicious crab recipe can be served hot off the wok or at room temp.
If you need to process and crack the crab, start by pulling the main shell off the crab and discard it. Remove the gray gills and the soft insides. Cut the body in half and then cut between each leg. Crack the legs and claws with the back of the knife or a hammer and set aside.
In a heat-friendly bowl, whisk the tamarind paste with the hot water. Pull out any additional seeds or seed fragments from the tamarind if needed.
Add the sambal, oyster sauce, tomato paste, soy sauce, and rice vinegar to the tamarind paste mixture. Whisk and reserve.
Pour the oil into a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the scallion, ginger, curry powder, kaffir lime leaf, and garlic and cook for 1 minute to bloom the aromatics.
Add the chili sauce mix to the wok then add the crab and lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, tossing well so that the crab absorbs the sauce.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.