1 large mud crab, cleaned

2 brown onions, roughly chopped

8 small red chillies, chopped

125 ml vegetable oil

3 tsp shrimp paste (belacan)

250 ml tomato puree

60 ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce

55 g (¼ cup) white sugar

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp white vinegar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cornflour or potato starch, mixed with

125 ml water

1 egg, lightly beaten

coriander leaves, to serve

1. Remove the crab’s top shell and chop the crab into quarters. Crack the claws to allow the flavours to penetrate. Set aside.

2. Place the onion and chilli in a food processor and process to a puree.

3. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chilli puree and the shrimp paste, and fry for 6-7 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated and the paste begins to change colour. Add the tomato puree, soy sauce, sugar, tomato sauce, tomato paste, vinegar and salt, and mix through. Add combined cornflour and water and bring to the boil.

4. Add the crab pieces and cook, covered, over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until the shells turn red and the crab is cooked through. Stir through the egg and toss lightly to coat. Garnish with coriander.


Adapted from Adam Liaw’s recipe


1 kg of mud crabs

¼ cup vegetable oil

lime wedges, finely shredded spring onion,

coriander sprigs, for garnish

Tamarind and mango sambal

1 cup white onions, chopped rough

1 tablespoon fresh chillies, chopped rough

3 garlic cloves, bruised

¼ cup tamarind pulp

2 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce

1 large mango, flesh diced (or 2 cups frozen

mango pieces)

1 tomato, diced

1. Remove the upper shell of the crab, pick off the gills and discard. Clean and chop the crab into large pieces.

2. To make the sambal, puree the shallots, chilli and garlic in a small food processor or grind by hand. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Cook the sambal for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly until very fragrant.

3. Meanwhile, soak the tamarind pulp in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Strain the pulp by pushing it through a fine sieve with the back of a spoon, and discard any seeds.

4. Add the tamarind water and sugar, if using, stir to combine, then bring to the boil. Add the crab pieces and fish sauce, and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, tossing the wok occasionally until the crab is cooked and the shell is bright red. Add the mango and tomato, toss to combine, then immediately remove from the heat.

5. Transfer the crab to a platter. Squeeze over lime juice and garnish with spring onion and coriander.

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