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  • Malaysian style Curry Crab

    Posted on | September 18, 2008 | 27 Comments |

    I don’t know how many times I’ve talked about our favorite takeout dish in town – the Dry Curry Crab from Malay Satay Hut. Siv and I are addicted to this dish. I’ve been searching for a similar recipe in all my Malaysian cookbooks and online, but couldn’t find anything that would produce an end result like the MSH version. Their version has plenty of onions and curry leaves and star anise, but none of the Malaysian crab curry recipes I found had all those! After a lot of searching around, I finally decided to tweak the one recipe that looked the best to make my own additions to get it closer to the MSH version.

    The recipe I used as the base is the Chili Crab recipe from my favorite Malaysian blog – Rasa Malaysia. Her pictures are out of this world, and the recipes are to die for! I have been drooling at those Chili Crab pictures for months now!  I tweaked it quite a bit, since I was after the MSH version. The final result didn’t quite taste like the MSH curry crab, but it tasted really good! Thank you Rasa Malaysia for a keeper recipe!

    Dry Curry Crab

    Recipe adapted from Chili Crab by Rasa Malaysia


    • 1.5 lb crab  (You can use a whole dungeness crab, or just crab claws)
    • 4 whole star anise
    • 1/2 cup sliced onions
    • lots of curry leaves
    • 1.5 tbsp tamarind paste
    • 1 tbsp sugar
    • salt to taste
    • 1.5 tbsp oil
    • For the Spice Paste
    • 8 dried red chilies
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1″ piece ginger
    • white part from two lemongrass stalks
    • 1/4 cup sliced shallots


    Clean the crab and cut into 6-8 pieces if using a whole crab. Remove the top shell.

    Make the spice paste by grinding all the ingredients in a food processor, or pound using a mortar and pestle to form a somewhat smooth paste.

    Place a large pan on the stove and heat up the oil. Saute the sliced onions and curry leaves till onions start to soften. Remove and keep aside.

    Add the star anise to the same oil and saute for a few seconds. Add the spice paste to the pan and saute till fragrant. Add the crab and 1/4 cup of water and do a quick stir. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and cook for about 5-6 minutes.

    Add the sugar, tamarind paste and salt and mix well. Cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes stirring frequently until the crab pieces turn red.

    Add the sauteed onions and curry leaves to the pan and mix well to combine.

    Serve with steamed rice.

    As I said before, this tasted divine, still not very close to the Malay Satay Hut version. So the quest to for the MSH Dry Curry Crab recipe still continues, but I have another keeper recipe. By the way, this is the first time I am making crab, Siv is usually the crabman of the house. I got the crab claws this time, since I am not very good at handling whole crabs. Check out the two fabulous Tamil stle crab curry recipes by Siv before you leave.


    Category: Crab, Seafood, South East Asia

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    27 Responses to “Malaysian style Curry Crab”

    1. Raaga
      September 18th, 2008 @ 3:15 am

      I think I’ve had crab like once in my entire life :-)

    2. Nags
      September 18th, 2008 @ 5:49 am

      i am yet to get brave enough to cook crab :)

    3. rachel
      September 18th, 2008 @ 8:32 am

      Love of the favs…I find it messy to eat sometimes…

      Love you picture escpeciallly the stark contrast in colours.

    4. rajitha
      September 18th, 2008 @ 8:34 am

      and what did the ‘crabman’ say about this dish? the pic looks really good…c’mon..spill the beans…u did attend the classes afterall…be honest :mrgreen:

    5. sra
      September 18th, 2008 @ 9:03 am

      I like crab but I feel there’s very little to eat after all that hard work and mess and crunching and cracking. Have eaten shell-less stuff just once or twice!

    6. Vij
      September 18th, 2008 @ 9:07 am

      I have serious problem eating a crab so I neither cook it nor eat it….but honestly urs looks so delicious..tempts me to try it… :-) …i am gonna make it this weekend!

    7. RP
      September 18th, 2008 @ 9:32 am

      How pretty!! And I loved this recipe. I will try it out when I get good crabs next time. Hmm.. 45 minutes drive to farmer’s market, and I will have live crabs!

    8. Mishmash!
      September 18th, 2008 @ 10:00 am

      i love crab in any form….but what i loved more here is picture….BEAUTIFUL :)

    9. Happy Cook
      September 18th, 2008 @ 10:21 am

      Wow just looking to the picture i am drooling.
      Only comfort i am having is the thought that i had kerama crab curry while i was back at home.
      Hubby doesn’t like crab withspices he just like the white crab meat mixes with mayyo and sreve with avocado, which is also delicious, but i love the spicy ones

    10. Aparna
      September 18th, 2008 @ 10:50 am

      Looks lovely as always Sig… I have had crab in the ‘cake’ form before but never ventured into picking meat off from the shell.. This looks so tempting! :( Yes):

    11. rina
      September 18th, 2008 @ 10:55 am

      Yum yum Sig…Can’t wait to try this preparation of Crab…Wish I can find some fleshly big ones. Gr8 Pic. :drool:

    12. rajitha
      September 18th, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

      u have been tagged…i know..i can see u jumping with joy..

    13. richa
      September 18th, 2008 @ 1:45 pm

      yup, may times it is tough to recreate those restaurant dishes, not that us foodies will gv up trying or anything like that :wink: good to know u liked the end result though!

    14. Naina
      September 18th, 2008 @ 8:20 pm

      I went to Malay Satay hut when I visited Seattle for my interview. I told my husband we had to go coz Sig raved about it. We LOVED the crab….it was the best we’ve had in a restaurant and it was gigantic!! This recipe sounds sooo good. I also liked Siv’s crab recipes. I am definitely going to try them all. Thanks a ton.

    15. [eatingclub] vancouver || js
      September 18th, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

      Delicious-looking crab! Goodness, what I wouldn’t give to dig into those claws now.

    16. musy
      September 18th, 2008 @ 10:48 pm

      Curry leaves and star anise! This gets tried soon with mushrooms!! That’ll (possibly) give me another reason to put up a picture of star anise on my blog ;)

      Sig, this is one fingerlicking dish! I say this even though i am scared of crabs :-D

    17. srilekha
      September 19th, 2008 @ 5:44 pm

      wow! mouth waterin recipe and pics!
      Visit my blog while u find time and join in the chicken event going in my blog!

    18. shilpa
      September 19th, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

      I am scared to come to this blog these days :oops: . Your every dish looks just out of this world. I want crab now :drool: .

    19. Kate
      September 19th, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

      This crab looks tantalizing. I’m a big fan of Rasa Malaysia ‘s work too. I think your picture is equally fabulous. Crab is my fav seafood , then comes salmon :)

    20. Cham
      September 19th, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

      My husb and son call this creature bug :cry: i am not cooking in my kitchen. It has been years i had all those seafood. I love to take time and devour a small crab meat after a long battle :razz:
      Ur pict make me nostalgic :sad:

    21. Paz
      September 20th, 2008 @ 2:18 pm

      This sounds and looks delicious!


    22. Susan from Food Blogga
      September 20th, 2008 @ 8:10 pm

      My husband would absolutely love this, Sig.

    23. Swati Jain:Sugarcraft India
      September 21st, 2008 @ 5:12 am

      The picture is awesome Sig.. :smile:

    24. priyanka
      September 22nd, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

      thats one tempting pic Sig….looks delicious.

    25. Kay
      October 2nd, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

      Crab? Did somebody say crab? OMG!!! :drool: :mrgreen:

      I LOVE crab! Esp. amma made ones :) This looks absolutely delicious, Sig!!

    26. Mag
      June 2nd, 2009 @ 7:23 pm

      Hi Sig, great recipe. I am a Malaysian so you can guess how spoiled I am with the variety of foods here. There are many ways crabs are being cooked here. The most famous among my friends is Cheese crab. If you like Malaysian food or would wanna try out pls visit :