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Singapore Chilli Crab Hawkers: Where to Find the Best Spicy Seafood Delight

Singapore Chilli Crab Hawkers: Where to Find the Best Spicy Seafood Delight

If you're a foodie, then you know that Singapore is a paradise for street food lovers. One of the most iconic dishes that Singapore is famous for is chilli crab. And where better to enjoy this delicious dish than at a hawker centre?

Hawker centres are a staple of Singapore's street food scene. They are open-air complexes that house dozens of food stalls and vendors selling a variety of local dishes. These centres are a great place to try out different types of food in one sitting, and chilli crab is a must-try dish.

If you're visiting Singapore, you'll find that there are many hawker centres that serve chilli crab. Each hawker centre has its own unique take on the dish, so it's worth exploring different centres to find your favourite. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Singapore's chilli crab hawker scene and answer some frequently asked questions.

Key Takeaways

  • Singapore's hawker centres are a great place to try out different local dishes, including chilli crab.
  • Each hawker centre has its own unique take on the dish, so it's worth exploring different centres to find your favourite.
  • In this article, we'll explore Singapore's chilli crab hawker scene and answer some frequently asked questions.

Exploring Singapore Chilli Crab

A bustling hawker center with steaming pots of spicy red sauce, fresh crab, and fragrant spices, surrounded by eager diners and the sizzle of woks

If you're a food lover, you cannot miss out on the iconic dish of Singapore - the Chilli Crab. This dish is a must-try for every visitor, and it is a favourite among the locals too. The dish is so popular that it has become a national treasure and a symbol of Singapore's food culture.

Origins and Cultural Significance

The origins of the Chilli Crab can be traced back to the 1950s, when a pushcart hawker named Cher Yam Tian came up with a recipe that combined Sri Lankan crab with a spicy tomato-based sauce. The dish quickly became popular, and soon other hawkers started selling their own versions of the dish.

Today, the Chilli Crab is a staple dish in Singaporean cuisine, and it is served in almost every seafood restaurant and hawker centre in the country. The dish is so popular that it has even been featured in the Michelin Guide.

Ingredients and Flavours

The Chilli Crab is made using either Sri Lankan or mud crab, which is cooked in a sweet and spicy sambal sauce. The sauce is made using ingredients such as chilli paste, tomato paste, sugar, and egg, which are cooked together until they form a thick and flavourful sauce.

The crab is cooked in the sauce until it is tender and juicy, and the sauce is absorbed into the flesh of the crab, giving it a rich and delicious flavour. The dish is usually served with steamed buns or rice to soak up the sauce.

Cooking Techniques and Recipes

There are many different recipes and cooking techniques for making the Chilli Crab, and every hawker and restaurant has their own unique twist on the dish. However, the basic recipe involves cooking the crab in the sauce until it is cooked through, and then adding other ingredients such as egg and spring onions to enhance the flavour.

Hawker Centres and Street Food Scene

A bustling hawker centre in Singapore with colorful stalls, steaming pots, and the iconic Singapore chili crab being prepared by hawkers

If you are a foodie, then Singapore is the place for you. The city-state is famous for its hawker centres and street food scene. Hawker centres are open-air food courts where you can find a variety of local delicacies at affordable prices. The atmosphere is lively, and you can find both locals and tourists enjoying the food.

Famous Hawker Centres for Chilli Crab

Chilli crab is one of the most famous dishes in Singapore, and you can find it in almost every hawker centre. Some of the best places to try chilli crab are the Old Airport Road Food Centre, Tiong Bahru Market Hawker Centre, Clarke Quay, and Newton Hawker Centre. These hawker centres are known for their quality and affordable prices.

Singapore's Hawker Culture

Hawker culture is an important part of Singapore's heritage, and it has been recognised by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage. Hawker centres are a great place to experience this culture and try local cuisine. You can find a variety of dishes such as Hainanese chicken rice, noodles, Hokkien mee, satay, carrot cake, laksa, popiah, and oyster omelette.

Other Must-Try Local Delicacies

Apart from chilli crab, there are many other local delicacies that you must try when in Singapore. Some of them include:

  • Hainanese chicken rice: This dish consists of steamed chicken and fragrant rice cooked in chicken broth.
  • Noodles: You can find a variety of noodles in Singapore, such as mee goreng, mee siam, and laksa.
  • Satay: This is a popular street food in Singapore, consisting of skewered and grilled meat served with peanut sauce.
  • Carrot cake: This is a savoury dish made with radish cake and eggs.
  • Laksa: This is a spicy noodle soup with coconut milk and seafood.
  • Popiah: This is a fresh spring roll filled with vegetables and meat.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bustling hawker center with steaming pots of chili crab, customers lining up, and vendors shouting out orders

Where can I find the best chilli crab at hawker centres in Singapore?

Singapore is famous for its hawker centres where you can find a wide variety of food, including chilli crab. While many hawker centres serve this dish, some are better than others. Some of the popular hawker centres known for their chilli crab include Newton Food Centre, East Coast Lagoon Food Village, and Jumbo Seafood at Clarke Quay. However, the best chilli crab is subjective and can vary depending on personal preference.

How much does a serving of chilli crab typically cost at Singapore hawkers?

The price of chilli crab at hawker centres in Singapore can vary depending on the location and the stall. On average, a serving of chilli crab can cost between SGD 20 to SGD 40. However, some stalls may charge more for larger crabs or if the dish is served in a restaurant setting.

Can you recommend some hawker stalls in Singapore for an authentic chilli crab experience?

There are many hawker stalls in Singapore that serve authentic chilli crab. Some of the popular ones include No Signboard Seafood, Long Beach Seafood Restaurant, and Eng Seng Restaurant. Each of these stalls has its unique take on the dish, so it's worth trying a few to find your favourite.

What are the differences in chilli crab recipes among Singapore's hawker stalls?

Each hawker stall in Singapore has its unique recipe for chilli crab, which can vary in terms of spiciness, sweetness, and overall flavour. Some stalls may use more tomato sauce, while others may use more chilli paste. It's worth trying different stalls to find the recipe that suits your taste buds.

Which hawker centre in Singapore is known for its chilli crab dish?

Newton Food Centre is one of the most famous hawker centres in Singapore and is known for its chilli crab dish. The centre has several stalls that serve this dish, and each stall has its unique recipe.

Are there any must-try lesser-known hawkers for chilli crab in Singapore?

Yes, there are several lesser-known hawker stalls in Singapore that serve excellent chilli crab. Some of these include Roland Restaurant, Mellben Seafood, and Tiong Bahru Market. These stalls may not be as well-known as some of the larger chains, but they serve some of the best chilli crab in Singapore.