I went to Chinese market and planned to buy some red snapper, but I changed my mind when I saw a young lady next to me bought quite a large amount of alive crabs. I asked her what was she going to do with it, she said she would make "Chili Crab". I thought it was a good idea, so I bought 3 alive crabs and excited about making my own Chili Crab. Here it is, hope you like it.
Singaporean Chili Crab
3 fresh crabs (about 6 pounds)
2 tbs minced garlic
1 - 2 tbs 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 tbs tomato paste
1 tbs sugar
1 tbs reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tbs seedless tamarin (soak with 1/4 cup hot water, squeeze out the pulp)
2 cup water
2 - 3 tbs oil
salt and pepper
2 tsp corn starch + 3 tbs 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.