Singapore Black Pepper Crab

black pepper crab recipe

Black pepper crab is legendary in Singapore. The flavor is so unique and with its buttery spicy saucy paste that forms in a sauce that coats the fresh crab so well.

Black Pepper Crab

I go back to Singapore quite often when I was a kid because my family is over there. By far my favorite food there is this spicy Singaporean crab. I never had this kind of crab in the US and I was determined to make a Singapore crab recipe like the one I had. This black pepper crab isn’t the one you might think. Its not a dry seasoned crab with salt and pepper. It is a saucy black pepper paste that weaves in and out of the shells of a crab. Combined with the fresh seafood texture of a crab, this dish is a dynamic combination and seriously addicting. And let me tell you, this sauce is super easy to make. I’m not kidding you, you can make this sauce with other seafoods as well. But I do think adding the seafood juices to this dish completes the sauce.

Crab

You can find live crab at Asian supermarkets in the tanks. I use live crab to make this dish because the texture of the crab taste so much sweeter and flavorful for fresh crab. Please reference my “How to Cut a Live Crab” tutorial to find out how to cut a crab first! If you can’t access live crab, the precooked ones are suitable too. You can also reference that tutorial on how to chop and clean a crab before you make this recipe.

black pepper crab singapore

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp of whole black peppercorns (can also substitute with 1 tbsp of ground black pepper)
  • ½ tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsps of sugar
  • 2 whole fresh dungeness crabs

Notes: Reference my guide on how to chop a live crab

Instructions

  1. Use a kitchen mallet to smash black peppercorns and transfer black peppercorns to a mortar pestle. Using a pestle, keep grinding the peppercorns and make sure all peppercorns are a least broken down to a third of a piece.
  2. Heat a wok in medium heat until warm. Add in ground peppercorns, salt, soy sauce, water, and butter mixture in wok. Close lid.
  3. Around 7-10 minutes, open the lid to check if the sauce has thickened. Once sauce is thickened to a paste, add in sugar, and stir to taste.
  4. Add in crab legs and body and mix well to incorporate in sauce.
  5. After about a minute, place the head of the crab on top of the body, and close the lid to steam.
  6. Wait 5 more minutes for the crab to steam and cook through. Once the crab color turns red, the crab is cooked. 
  7. Serve immediately with sauce. 
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singapore black pepper crab

black pepper crab singapore

This black pepper crab isn’t the one you might think. Its not a dry seasoned crab with salt and pepper. It is a saucy black pepper paste that weaves in and out of the shells of a crab. Combined with the fresh seafood texture of a crab, this dish is a dynamic combination and seriously addicting.

  • Author: christine gong
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 23 1x
  • Method: Saute
  • Cuisine: Chinese

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp of whole black peppercorns (can also substitute with 1 tbsp of ground black pepper)
  • ½ tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 stick of butter (8 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsps of sugar
  • 2 whole fresh dungeness crabs

Instructions

1. Use a kitchen mallet to smash black peppercorns and transfer black peppercorns to a mortar pestle.

2. Using a pestle, keep grinding the peppercorns and make sure all peppercorns are a least broken down to a third of a piece.

3. Heat a wok in medium heat until warm. Add in ground peppercorns, salt, soy sauce, water, and butter mixture in wok. Close lid.

4. Around 7-10 minutes, open the lid to check if the sauce has thickened. Once sauce is thickened to a paste, add in sugar, and stir to taste.

5. Add in crab legs and body and mix well to incorporate in sauce.

6. After about a minute, place the head of the crab on top of the body, and close the lid to steam.

7. Wait 5 more minutes for the crab to steam and cook through. Once the crab color turns red, the crab is cooked. 

8. Serve immediately with sauce.

Keywords: Singapore Black Pepper Crab

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