Being one of Singapore’s national dishes, Chilli and Black Pepper crabs are a distinctive dish that can be found in many restaurants and hawkers here, despite its high price. Crab dishes have grown in popularity to the point where even visitors recognise them as a must-try local specialty. You can’t come to Singapore and leave without at least trying this local delicacy. While most of Singapore’s food is imported, you can always expect a fresh catch on your table because reputable restaurants keep all of their seafood alive in tanks until you have ordered it.
Today, we’ll teach you how to enjoy eating crabs, in the most authentic, Singaporean way.
- Choosing The Right Size
When you are ordering a crab in Singapore, the first thing the servers will ask is the size of the crab you would like. If you buy your crabs from a supermarket, your odds of receiving a decent crab are smaller than if you buy them from a seafood restaurant where there is a quick turnover of crabs. At the restaurant itself, they are generally big and meaty crabs for you to choose from. The minimum size of the crab will be slightly under a kilogram so depending on how much you would like, you can decide from there. If you are looking to try a variety of side dishes as well, the minimum size would be a good place to start. If that’s not enough, you can always order more! A handy tip to note is that you can also specify your preferred gender. Male crabs have more flesh in their pinchers than female crabs, which have creamy roe. Based on your preference, you can choose the size as well as the gender of the crab.
- Choosing The Flavour Of The Crab
All behold the fan favourite Chilli Crab. A must-try in Singapore, chilli crabs is a seafood dish in which sweet, savoury, and spicy tomato-based sauce coats stir-fried crabs. Listed at number 35 on the World’s 50 most delicious foods list compiled by CNN Go in 2011. How can you not try it? The gravy has the perfect balance of spice, sweetness, and saltiness, matching the man tou nicely. Man tous are essentially steam buns that you dip into the sauce of the chilli crab and they go extremely well together. Scoop up some of the decadent sauce with your man tous and you’ll understand why the two go hand in hand. Juicy and fresh flesh of the crabs make this dish the absolute most satisfying dish and something that most people go for. If you can’t take spicy food, simply ask for “less spicy” or a tomato-only option when ordering. It’s more vital to enjoy the food than it is to cook it to an “authentic” level of spice. The ideal sauce should have a bit of a kick to it but it should never be too intense.
Other than the beloved Chilli Crab flavour, Singapore also prides itself in other flavours of crabs such as Black Pepper Crab and Salted Egg Crab. If you would like to try something different from the regular Chilli Crab, these would be your next go-to.
- Side Dishes To Add On
If you’re already heading to a seafood restaurant, there are plenty of options that you are probably going to try. On top of the main crab dish, you can choose to add on other local delights for your dinner. Some of the popular side dishes people usually go for include Sambal Kang Kong, Coffee Pork Ribs, Cereal Prawns and Beancurd With Preserved Vegetables. These go nicely with your crab meal and are traditionally enjoyed together. Don’t be afraid to try something you haven’t tried before because you never know it might be your next favourite dish. Finish off your meal with decadent mango pudding that is served at many seafood restaurants. The combination of creamy and sourness is the perfect palate cleanser and is sure to end your meal on a good note.
Soon enough, after enough visits (because we’re sure you’ll be back for more), you’ll come to find some of your personal favourites and order just like a local. You just can’t go to Singapore and not try its national dish so we hope this article managed to help you get a feel of how to authentically enjoy crabs, Singapore style. If you’re a bit tight on time while in Singapore, you can also opt for a crab delivery option where you can enjoy this delicacy in the comfort of your own home/hotel.