Vegan Singapore Chilli Crab – Authentic Recipe

Yields: 2 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 20 Mins Total Time: 30 Mins

Singapore chilli crab is the quintessential Singaporean dish and an amalgamation of Malay and Chinese cooking. Before I went vegan, we used to have chilli crab pretty much every important family reunion, so the taste is etched in my mind. This vegan Singapore chilli crab has all the great flavour of the authentic and traditional version, without the dismembered crustacean body parts.

I make this vegan Singapore chilli crab recipe with different crab meat replacements depending on my pantry stock. In one version, I used a mixture of dried tofu sticks (腐竹), tofu, and enoki mushrooms. In another, I used very thin hand-shredded wtf seitan and oyster mushrooms. You could also use tofu skin or any combination of the above.

For an extra zing, I also add a dollop of my favourite bottled chilli sauce (see instructions for photo) from Singapore. I bring bottles of this sauce with me whenever I leave home!

In restaurants, this dish is usually served with deep-fried mantou (馒头), a soft plain steamed bun originating from Northern China. If you can’t get mantou, you can try it with toasted bread rolls or a sliced baguette. Honestly, it is much better with bread than rice!


  • For more sauce to meat ratio, add another half cup of water/stock and change the cornstarch slurry to 1 tbsp corn starch + 2 tbsp water.
  • If you can’t get fermented yellow bean paste, you can use black bean paste.
  • If you can’t get Sinsin sauce, Sriracha or LKK Chili Garlic Sauce works too.
  • For a super briny flavour, you can use kombu or seaweed stock instead of plain water. If you do, don’t add the vegetable seasoning powder as it will be unnecessary.

If you are after another classic Singaporean flavour, check out my Singapore Black Pepper Spaghetti.

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0/18 Ingredients
Adjust Servings
  • Spice Paste


0/12 Instructions
  • If using oyster mushrooms or seitan, shred them as thin as possible by hand.
  • If using dried tofu sticks, soak the tofu sticks until soft and slice them diagonally.
  • These are the ingredients for the spice paste. If you are using dried chilli like me then soak them in warm water beforehand. If you are worried about the paste being too spicy, you can remove the seeds from the chilli before blending. Blend everything into a fine mixture to create a spice paste or rempah.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over low heat and fry the rempah.
  • When the rempah darkens and becomes thicker, it is ready.
  • Add the tomato sauce, fermented bean paste, sugar, and spring onion whites.
  • Mix the paste thoroughly and then add 1.5 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the crab meat replacements and mix well. Cover the pan with the lid for 5-10 minutes.
  • If you are making your own mantou, this is the time to deep-fry the mantou.
  • Ten minutes later, add vegetable stock powder, salt, and pepper to taste (about 0.5 tsp each), and my secret ingredient - 1 tbsp of Sinsin Garlic Chilli sauce! Mix well.
  • Make cornstarch slurry. Make a well in the pan and pour the corn starch slurry into the liquid part, mixing it well until it reduces.
  • Serve hot and garnish with spring onion greens.

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