Due to its strategic location in the South East Asian and with its multicultural heritage, Singapore serves up a true melting pot of flavours and foods. The country provides umpteen options to choose from the menu be it Chinese, Malay, Indian, English and / or many international cuisines. Not surprisingly, Singaporean literature declares eating as a national pastime and food, a national obsession. Food is a frequent topic of conversation among Singaporeans.
From so many options to choose from, one gets really confused as to what to eat and not to. Have tried a few of these cuisines over the years during my travel to Singapore the one particular dish which ranks very high amongst the many on offer is easily the “CHILLI CRAB”. Chilli Crab is probably the most popular of all crab dishes and is promoted by The Singapore Tourism Board as one of Singapore's National Dishes.
Chilli Crab is available in a number of versions ranging from the spicy version to the milder version / sweeter form of Chilli Crab. Chilli crab sauce is described as "sensuous" and "sweet, yet savoury", with a "fluffy texture". Mud crabs are the most common type of crabs used for the dish, although other species of crab can be used too. The crab is served with crusty bread, steamed buns or steamed rice.
I love crabs and like most Indians am fond of spices. Of all the types of Chilli crabs, my personal favourite is the spicy version of ‘Chilli Crab’ served with deep fried buns, especially the ones served by ‘Far East Hospitality’
The crab in itself with its very juicy and fresh flesh is excellent, however the impeccable combination of spiciness, sweetness and saltiness of the gravy adds to the taste of the crab making it a must have dish in Singapore.
Mind you, the best way to eat Chilli Crab is using your hand, but bear in mind that it may leave you a little messy. Restaurants often provide wet towels or a washing bowls with lime in order to cleanse your hands after the meal. Some of them even provide gloves for eating this dish but I feel using the gloves for eating Chilli Crab is like insulting the dish itself.
So eat the spicy Chilli Crab, get messy and savour the fun of Singapore’s National Dish.