Recipe courtesy of David Rosengarten

Chili Crab

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  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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2 large live Dungeness crabs, each about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 pounds

10-12 fresh red chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped or 6 dried Asian chiles (3 inches long), stemmed, seeded, chopped and soaked in warm water to cover for 10 minutes, drained

2 tablespoons minced garlic, or to taste

2 tablespoons minced shallots

1 tablespoon finely grated gingerroot

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional

For the sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce, such as Nam Pla

1/3 cup Thai sweet chile sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch combined with 2 tablespoons water

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons sliced scallion for garnish

Slices of white bread as an accompaniment, if desired


  1. In a casserole or large pot of boiling salted water, add the crabs and cook them for about 1 minute, or until no longer moving. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. To clean the crabs pull off top shells; pull and twist off each apron; remove gills. With sharp knife cut crabs into quarters, rinse and drain.
  3. In mortor and pestle or small food processor pound or process chiles, garlic, shallots and ginger with a little oil if necessary.
  4. Combine all sauce ingredients.
  5. Heat a wok over moderately high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until hot. Add chili and garlic paste and stir-fry 1 minute. Add crabs and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes or until shells turn red. Add sauce ingredients, bring to boil and simmer, covered, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer crabs to serving dish.
  6. Bring sauce in wok to a boil. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to wok. Simmer until thickened. Gradually add eggs in a stream, whisking, and cook for 1 minute. Pour sauce over crabs and garnish with scallion.
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