Imitation Chilli Crab

What do you do when you have an intense craving for chilli crab? You improvise! I’ve been thinking of chilli crab for a couple of weeks now, but I didn’t want to deal with the killing, cleaning, chopping…too much work. I wanted a recipe for a quick mid-week meal, to enjoy with bread or rice. Not quite THE Chilli Crab…but close.

So I started looking for frozen crab meat, but with no luck near where we live, I finally settled for imitation crab meat (or surimi) – they’re called seafood extenders in Melbourne. I found a kilo for $9.00 at our local IGA. While it’s not even close to real crabs, I think they worked in carrying out the gravy well, I served it with Fried Mantous.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of fake crabmeat – sliced finely
  • 3 garlic cloves – sliced finely
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli paste (I used Cheerful Charlie’s Extra Hot)  – use more or less as you like
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 spring onion – sliced finely
  • 4 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves – sliced finely
  • Oil

(b) for the sauce: mix together in a bowl

  • 2 tablespoons chilli sauce (I used a mixture of Ayam brand chilli sauce and chicken rice dipping sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kecap manis

Heat oil, add garlic, ginger and crab meat. Fry well, until crab meat browns a little. This will take about 8 to 10 minutes, you’re trying to impart some flavour into the fake crab meat, so don’t rush it. Then add the chilli paste, and fry well again – keep stirring. Add the sauces, stir well, add a little water if the mixture is too thick. Stir well, finish off with white pepper, spring onion and coriander, Enjoy!

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