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Chilli Crab Spaghetti - Recipe by Shu Han Lee
Chilli Crab Spaghetti - Recipe by Shu Han Lee

Chilli Crab Spaghetti - Recipe by Shu Han Lee


4 Tbs olive oil
200 g dried spaghetti
1/2 tsp ?ne sea salt, plus more for boiling pasta
1/2 x 400 g tin ?nely chopped tomatoes
2 tsp taucheo
1 tsp light brown sugar
100 g brown crab meat
100 g white crab meat
Small handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), ?nely chopped

For the rempah (spice paste):

1 banana shallot, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
Thumb-sized (15 g) piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large red chilli, roughly chopped
1 lemongrass stalk, roughly chopped
1 tsp tomato ketchup


Pound all the spice paste ingredients using a pestle and mortar or whizz in a small blender until you get a ?ne paste. If using a blender, you might need to add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat and fry the paste for 10 minutes until fragrant and the oil seeps back out.

Boil the spaghetti in a pot of well-salted water according to the packet instructions until al dente – tender, but resistant to the bite.

Meanwhile, to the spice paste, add the tinned tomatoes, taucheo, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Add the brown crab meat and stir to mix through. Now turn the heat o? and fold the white crab meat into the sauce.

The spaghetti should be done by now so drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Tip the spaghetti into the pan of chilli crab sauce and toss through to make sure the strands are all well coated, adding a splash of pasta water to loosen if needed. Divide into warm bowls and ?nish with the fresh coriander.

Credits: This is an edited extract from Agak Agak: Everyday Recipes from Singapore by Shu Han Lee, published by Hardie Grant Books. Available in stores nationally from 4 July 2024, RRP$49.99.

Photo Credits: Photography by Ola O. Smit