Singapore Black Pepper Crab

Singapore Black Pepper Crab

Singaporeans love to order Black Pepper Crabs from the local “tze char” stalls or seafood restaurants. Black Pepper Crab is Singapore’s unofficial “national dish” which the locals seldom cook at home.

Recipe for Black Pepper Crab

Ingredients for Black Pepper Crab:

  • 2-3 fresh large mud crabs (claws cracked, shells removed and cleaned. drain to dry)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 6 red chilli padi, chopped
  • 1 tbsp salted soya beans paste (taucho)
  • 2 tbsp roasted dried ground shrimps (udang kering)
  • 3 tbsp black pepper, ground coarsely, not powdery
  • 1/2 cup curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar or to taste
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing


  1. Dry fry the black peppercorn (without oil) on a low heat until fragrant, and set aside.
  2. In a large wok, deep fry the crabs over high heat in quick succession. Do this a little at a time so as to maintain the high heat in the oil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes till the crabs turn red. Transfer to a colander to drain off excess oil. Strain the hot oil and place the wok back on the heat.
  3. Heat the wok on a low heat with butter and add in shallots, garlic, salted soy beans, dried shrimps, black pepper, curry leaves and the chopped chilli padi. Stir fry for few minutes till you smell the peppery aroma.
  4. Add crab and the remaining ingredients except coriander leaves. Stir well until all the crabs are coated with the black pepper sauce. Taste.
  5. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 5-10 minutes until the crab is done.
  6. Dish out and garnish with some coriander leaves. Serve immediately with rice and other seafood dishes.
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  1. Cindy Lau

    Great recipe. This is a scrumptious dish. Followed this recipe and the crab taste fantastic! But I boiled the crab instead of frying them! It’s healthier.

  2. Singapore Local Favourites

    You are wellcome Cindy. Glad you tried out this recipe. Thanks to chef Rai for sharing.

  3. Anonymous

    This was one of the most delicious, spicy and completely messy things I have ever eaten just as I remembered it in Singapore!