Black pepper amplifies crab's briny sweetness in this Singapore favorite. Use the freshest crab possible, and enjoy with lots of cold beer and have plenty of napkins handy. Snow or king crab legs may be substituted for Dungeness.

EatingWell Magazine, May 2021


Credit: Ryan Liebe

Recipe Summary

30 mins
30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Pull legs and claws off crabs, then use a nutcracker to crack them at the joints. Discard any bits of shell that come flying off. Pile the legs, claws and body sections on a plate.

  • Pulse peppercorns in a mini food processor until coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and 2 tablespoons water to the food processor and process until a coarse paste forms. Return the crushed pepper and pulse to combine. (Alternatively, pound the aromatics with a mortar and pestle, adding the water gradually.)

  • Stir the remaining 3/4 cup water, oyster sauce, fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl to combine. Set near the stove, along with the crabs and the seasoning paste.

  • Warm oil in a large flat-bottom wok or large pot over medium-low heat. When hot enough to gently sizzle a bit of the seasoning paste, scrape in all the paste. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and the oil starts separating from the paste, 3 to 5 minutes.

  • Add the sauce mixture to the pan, then increase the heat to high. When the mixture begins to bubble, dump in the crab. Stir-fry until the crab is heated through and coated evenly with the seasoning paste, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, if using. Arrange the crab on a large platter and serve immediately.



Nutrition Facts

6 oz. (with shells)
205 calories; fat 11g; cholesterol 65mg; sodium 807mg; carbohydrates 5g; protein 20g; sugars 1g; niacin equivalents 3mg; saturated fat 1g; vitamin a iu 90IU; potassium 416mg.