Stir Fried Crabs

Seafood October 12th, 2007


Crabs! Finally they appear on this site. There are many recipes for crabs but this Stir Fried Crabs recipe focuses on simplicity and natural goodness. The usage of garlic, ginger and spring onions help to mask away the slight “fishy” smell of the crabs (I use mangrove / mud crabs here) whilst maintaining the natural sweet taste of the flesh. Unlike other crab recipes like Marmite Crabs, Tomato Crabs, Kam Heong Crabs, Chilli Crabs, Black Pepper Crabs or Cheese Crabs which overpowers the natural sweet taste of the flesh, this recipe ensures that you get to enjoy crabs at its best. By the way, you only kill the crab just before cooking.

How does one kill crabs? Well, in Malaysia, these crabs are sold live and bound with strings or reeds. So, they are pretty safe to handle. You have to place the crab upside down and use either a knife or chopstick to kill it. Prior to this however, is to place the crab in a freezer for 15 minutes or so. This will sort of put the crab into hibernation mode and at the same time (from what I heard), will prevent the claw or other parts of the legs from dropping off immediately upon being killed. Anyway, after you have placed the crab upside down, poke a knife or chopstick through the centre portion of the crab (where there is a triangle looking portion on the underside of the crab). Alternatively, poke a chopstick through the soft part between the legs. See the photo below.

killing crabs

Once the crab is dead (if would stop moving), cut the string. Run water through the crab and use an appropriate brush to give the crab a scrub to remove dirt and grime. Then, using the knife, cut the underside of the crab across the triangle portion downwards (the blue dotted line). Next, hold the crab upside down with your left hand and with your right thumb, yank the right hand part of the crab upwards. The crab should now be split into two with the right hand part removed. Remove the left part next. You will now have the shell. Remove the grey coloured part on each side of the inner shell which looks like gills. Remove the inner parts like intestines. Use a scissor to cut the mouth and remove the mouth and internal portions leaving the roe intact. Wash and get it ready for cooking.

stir fried crabs

I hope the instructions above make sense. I made a mistake in not taking photos of it on a step by step basis and if I should cook crabs again, I will remember to do so and place them here.

This is the recipe for Stir Fried Crabs



  • 2 large crabs (about 500 grammes each)
  • 3 cm ginger (finely julienned)
  • 1 bulb garlic (chopped finely)
  • as much spring onions as you like (cut into 5 cm lengths)
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 3 tablespoons palm / peanut oil



  • Salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chinese cooking wine



Heat oil in wok and saute ginger and garlic till aromatic. Add crabs and stir fry for 1 minute on high heat. Add water, stir well and cover lid, stirring occasionally.

Cook until crabs turn bright red in colour and flesh turn white. Stir in spring onions, salt to taste and cooking wine prior to serving.

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  1. 1
    October 12th, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Now you made me craving for crabs.

  2. 2
    Cheesey Poo
    October 12th, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    I didn’t know where to post this, so I figured I would post this on the latest entry from you. I just wanted to say THANK YOU for taking the trouble to post all your recipes. For a first-time cook like me, I find your recipes very easy to follow and most importantly, I get the right result! Simple, delicious recipes that I can cook for my hubby when he comes home from work.

    Thanks to you, I feel like I’m taking good care of him when I see him enjoying his food. Keep up the good work, you’re a godsend!!!

  3. 3
    October 12th, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    Jason : Go grab some πŸ˜€

    Cheesey Poo : Thank you for your encouragement regarding my website.

    I am glad you found the recipes “cookable” and “enjoyable”. Most of the recipes in this site are recipes which I learn from my mum, mother-in-law and some, through my own experimentation. They are mostly home cooked recipes and catered to beginners and not-so-beginners alike. It really thrills me to find that people actually took the trouble to try out the recipes and find them palatable. I really have to thank you for endorsing the recipes as being authentic πŸ˜€

  4. 4
    October 12th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    eh another way to kill them critters is that by inserting a chopstick into their anus i mean a small hole on the bottom of the shells …

  5. 5
    October 12th, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    fried with garlics, ginger and tomato sauce, and egg …

    serve with hot rice …

  6. 6
    October 12th, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    earl-ku : I think what you mean was at the triangle? The pointed area? and as for the ingredients you mentioned, yes, that’s the recipe for Tomato Crabs which my mum used to cook. The gravy is delicious with white bread as well but somehow, you lose a bit of the natural sweet taste of the crab flesh because the gravy overpowers it.

  7. 7
    October 12th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    youuknow the best way to eat crabs if its fresh is to team it … thats it … just steam it …

    yeah that triangle thingy … just poke there and it will die …faster i think, instead of freezing it … thats like torturing it … animal rights will comm after you … hahaha

  8. 8
    October 13th, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Crab!!!!!!Yummy. That is the one dish I have forgotten to request when I was in Malaysia. Better luck next time. The crabs over here in Japan are very different. I like the Mud Crab better, with the coconut, butter, egg shreds. They are good. Or sweet and sour. Yum-O!

  9. 9
    rasa malaysia
    October 14th, 2007 at 1:21 am

    I still think we should get Sri Lankan Crab ala Singapore in Malaysia, why not? They are so meaty and fat and juicy. The local mud crabs just don’t cut it for me anymore after I come to the US. I want big fleshy crabs. πŸ˜›

  10. 10
    October 15th, 2007 at 3:36 am

    I miss those big fat juicy crabs! I usually steam. I like eating stir fried crabs just that I don’t do it myself. Hahhaha, you can call me lazy glutton. πŸ˜€

  11. 11
    October 17th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    earl : You can actually choose to steam this dish instead of stir frying πŸ˜€ And by the way, the freezing is to hibernate the crabs lah. Not long enough to kill them yet.

    reese : Better put crabs into your to-do-list when you take the next flight home, Reese πŸ˜€

    rasamalaysia : Oh yes, the Sri Lankan ones are humongous! They come at a premium price when available at local eateries. Never tried them though πŸ˜›

    tigerfish : I think steaming alone probably gives you the best flavour from the crabs, don’t you think so? LOL!

  12. 12
    October 17th, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Anyone knows how to cook salted egg crabs? Anyone? πŸ˜›

  13. 13
    April 14th, 2008 at 7:01 am

    hi can any one tell me how to steam mud crab hole & how long will it take to cook

  14. 14
    April 14th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    muzz : Do you mean cooking / steaming the crab without washing or removing the internal parts? I do know that some people boil the crabs till they are thoroughly cooked followed by removal of the innards before taking out the flesh for further cooking. I am not too sure about steaming it whole for purposes of eating directly from it. However, you can steam it (after separating the crab parts) with ginger and chilli slivers, a little chopped garlic and a splash of chinese cooking wine. That would be excellent.

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