Chilli Crab is always associated with Singapore and is recommended by many of the Singapore tour guide books as a must try dish in Singapore.
It is also commonly found in Malaysia and Indonesia, and many of the recipes are very similar although there are variations in the style of cooking. Each country has at one point or other, claimed Chilli Crab as their own invention, sparking backlash from the others. However, regardless of the origins of this dish, we are proud to say that Singapore's unique spin on the this dish will leave you craving for more!
We will show you where to eat the best Singapore chilli crab and who invented this uniquely Singapore food.
It is always good to know the history of the dish and will appreciate the dish when you are tasting it.
On 19th Sept 2009, the Straits Time reported that a 78-year-old Madam Cher Yam Tian claimed that Singapore Chilli Crab was created by her in 1950. Her family were the first proprietors of Palm Beach restaurant.
Her recipe was to stir-fry the crabs with bottled chilli and tomato sauce. The dish was so well-loved by everyone in her kampong that she started a small push cart business to sell the chilli crab.
Another brainwave of hers that further contributed to the popularity of the dish was to serve it with baguettes so customers could mop up the spicy gravy and this was the born of Singapore Chilli crab. Her business grew and she eventually opened up a stall. Later in 1963, her family opened a restaurant at 514 Upper East Coast Road which is now known as Palm Beach.
Singapore Chilli Crab was reinvented in 1960 by Singaporean chef Hooi Kok Wai who started Dragon Phoenix Restaurant. He used lemon juice, vinegar, sambal and tomato paste in his gravy and topped the dish with egg white, to give it a smoother texture than the original of bottled chilli and tomato sauce. Regardless of the origins of Singapore chili crab, it is definitely a dish that you must try when you are in Singapore. You can find this dish in many food courts and coffee shops or the famous Lau Pa Sat.
Here is a list of the restaurants that are famous for their Chilli Crabs and I am recommending you to try out their chilli crab.
Palm beach seafood restaurant