Chili Crab Pasta Sauce

Chili Crab Pasta Sauce is inspired by Chili Crab, the zesty Singapore favorite and one of the signature dishes of Singaporean cuisine. Our Chili Crab Pasta Sauce is just moderately hot; add an extra chili or two to turn up the heat. Chili Crab Pasta Sauce is best served over fettuccine, spaghetti or other long, strand type of either fresh or dried pasta or rice noodles.  Start out with a cool Greek Cucumber Tomato Salad, then move on to Chili Crab Pasta Sauce as the main course; better have some Sambal Oelek or Spicy Sichuan Chili Crisp at the table because some like it hot!

Chili Crab Pasta Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes, Total Time: 35 minutes. Serves: 4

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  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs minced Garlic
  • 1 Tbs Ginger Paste
  • 3 Thai Chilis (bird chilis), sliced into very thin rounds
  • 2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tb Sambal Oelek*
  • 2 Tbs Ketjap Manis*
  • 2 Tbs Tamarind Paste*
  • 6 oz Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup warm Water
  • 12 oz Lump Crab Meat, canned or fresh
  • 3 oz. Pasta or Noodles per person
  • Combined Grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheeses at the table

Chili Crab Pasta Sauce


  1. Combine the onion, garlic, ginger and Thai chilis with the extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  2. Sauté these ingredients, covered, over a medium heat until they begin to soften and lightly brown.
  3. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  4. Combine the seasonings (sambal oelek, ketjap manis, tamarind paste and tomato paste) in a bowl.
  5. Once the onion-garlic-ginger-chile mixture has begun to soften and lightly brown, add the combined seasonings and the warm water to the saucepan.
  6. Stir thoroughly and simmer the sauce, covered, over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the pasta or noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente.
  8. Add additional warm water as necessary to the saucepan; the sauce should be fairly thick and sticky.
  9. Drain excess liquid from the lump crab meat, pick out and discard any bits of shell.
  10. Add the crab meat to the sauce and stir gently; simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat.
  11. Drain the pasta and portion into individual pasta bowls and spoon the Chili Crab Pasta Sauce over the pasta.
  12. Serve Chili Crab Pasta Sauce immediately, with combined grated parmesan and pecorino romano cheeses, along with Sambal Oelek or Spicy Sichuan Chili Crisp at the table.

Chili Crab Pasta Sauce


  • Sambal Oelek, Ketjap Manis (sweet soy sauce) and Tamarind Paste can be purchased at Asian food specialty stores and supermarkets or online.

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