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Softshell Chilli Crab Gua Bao

By Nicole Chia
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40 min

Recipe info icon


20 min



Lotus Leaf Buns
5 pieces
Egg (beaten)
Spring onions and/or coriander for garnishing
Softshell Chilli Crab
Softshell Crabs (rinsed and gently patted to dry)
All-Purpose Flour
14 cup
Rice Flour
14 cup
FairPrice Canola Oil
2 cups
Ground black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Spice Paste
CHEF China Garlic
5 cloves
Belacan (toasted)
1 tsp
Chilli Powder
1 tbsp
Big Chillies
Chilli Padi (optional to amp up the spice)
PASAR Old Ginger (Prepacked)
1 tsp
1 tsp
Dried Shrimps
1 tsp
Lemongrass (the white part only, bruised and sliced)
1 stalk
Gula Melaka (brown sugar works fine too)
1 tsp
Chilli Sauce
Taucheo (bean paste)
1 tbsp
Chilli Sauce
1 tbsp
Tomato Paste
1 tsp
Chilli Puree
2 tbsp
FairPrice Tomato Ketchup
1 tbsp
1 tsp
Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1 cup

How to cook

Prepare the softshell crabs for deep frying

  • Mix the all-purpose flour, rice flour, salt and ground black pepper well in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
  • In a pan, pour in canola oil and bring to medium-high heat. Coat softshell crabs in the flour mixture lightly and tap away any excess flour. Deep fry until they turn golden brown, then set them aside to cool on a drying rack.

Prepare the spice paste

  • Make the spice paste (rempah) by adding all the ingredients to a blender and mixing until you get a fine and smooth consistency. Pour in a tablespoon of water each time if it becomes too dry.
  • Heat 1 tsp of canola oil in a clean pan over medium heat. Once the oil begins to smoke, add the spice paste and fry until fragrant.
  • Add the ingredients for the chilli sauce except the stock, making sure that you mix them well with the spice paste.
  • Add the vegetable or chicken stock and continue mixing. After this, you’ll want to turn down the heat to allow the sauce to simmer for 2-3 mins.
  • Pour in the beaten eggs. Swirl them in the sauce very gently with a ladle. Go in one direction only so the eggs don’t scramble; once the eggs look cooked, turn off the heat.

Prepare the lotus leaf buns for assembly

  • Steam lotus leaf buns according to the packaging instructions. Assemble by placing each crab into each bun and drizzling it with the chilli sauce.
  • Garnish with spring onions, coriander or even some sliced chilli padi if you like it really spicy! Serve warm.
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