The Cantonese in Singapore typically ate flower crabs steamed with either ginger and scallion or

fermented black beans.


By the 1950s, however, Pearl’s Market—a Cantonese enclave where People’s Park Complex is today,saw customers dipping chilled crab meat (冻蟹)into a garlic chilli sauce similar to that served in Hainanese Chicken Rice. At the same time, a dish of crabs stir-fried with bottled ketchup and chilli sauce was also gaining popularity at the seafood restaurants along East Coast Road.


The new appetite for robust flavours spurred Chef Hooi to concoct his own crab recipe in 1963.

He swapped flower crabs with the meatier mud crabs, and adopted the flavours of various local cuisines.  


Instead of using bottled chilli sauce, he made a fiery sambal chilli paste and balanced it with a sweet

and vinegary ketchup. The sauce also contained the aromatic ginger flower native to Southeast Asia,

and was finished with egg white, a Cantonese technique to create a silkier mouthfeel.


Dragon Phoenix’s style of chilli crab is the most common version of what is today considered a Singaporean delicacy.

Singapore Chilli Crab (招牌辣椒螃蟹)

  • One to Five Persons

  • $9.00 per 100g

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