Singaporean Chile Crab

Jalapenos are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapenos have a balanced combination of flavor and heat.

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3 fresh crabs (about 6 lbs)
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1-2 Tbsp minced ginger
10 red jalapeno, seeded, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped shallots
3 large very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tsp toasted shrimp paste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp seedless tamarin (soak with 1/4 cup hot water, squeeze out the pulp)
2 cups water
2-3 Tbsp oil
Salt and pepper

Additional ingredients:
2 tsp corn starch plus 3 Tbsp water, mix
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Discard the main shell of the crabs including the grey gills and the soft insides. Cut the body into quarter, then crack the claws and the legs lightly with the back of a knife. Set aside. You can also check this article on how to prepare your crab before cooking.

Put shallots, red jalapeno, tomatoes, and shrimp paste in a food processor process to make a smooth paste. You can also pound them in a large mortar and pestle, I personally think, it tastes better this way.

Heat oil in a large wok set over medium heat, add garlic and ginger, saute for a few seconds until fragrant. Add the paste, and saute until all liquid has evaporated, and the raw smell is disappear, add tomato paste, sugar, tamari or soy sauce, and tamarin. Pour the water, season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium high, bring to a boil, then add crab pieces, continue to cook, stirring often to make sure that the crab pieces absorb the sauce, about 7 – 10 minutes. Add chopped scallions, cornstarch-water mix, and the lightly beaten egg, stirring constantly a few seconds until the sauce is thicken, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.