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Singapore Black Pepper Crabs

This is my version of the famous Singapore Black Pepper Crabs recipe. It's spicy, peppery, buttery and super delicious!

UPDATED: October 30th 2013
This is an updated post with a new video cooking guide.

Singapore Black Pepper Crabs


2 Large Dungeness Crabs (4 1/2 lbs), cut into 8 pieces for each crab
5 Tbsp Coarsely Ground Black Peppercorn
6 Tbsp Butter
5 Cloves Garlic, chopped
½ tsp Ground White Pepper
A Big Pinch of 5 Spice Powder
2 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
3 Tbsp Chinese Rice Wine
3 Tbsp Chicken Stock or Water
Peanut Oil


Dry fry the black peppercorn on a low heat until fragrant, and set aside.

Meanwhile, put the oil in a large wok, or large deep saucepan and heat over high heat until the temperature reaches 350˚F, or until a cube of bread dropped in the oil browns in 15 seconds. Add the crabs to the wok in quick succession (you may have to do this in small quantities to maintain the high heat in the oil). Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, and then transfer to a colander to drain off excess oil. Carefully strain the hot oil and place the wok back on the heat.

Melt the butter, and mix in the garlic and give the mixture a quick stir. Then add black pepper, white pepper, 5-spice powder, oyster sauce, rice wine, chicken stock, and mix well. Toss in the crabs and stir until all the crabs are coated with the sauce. Transfer the crabs to a serving plate and serve immediately.

Serves 4


  1. My husband and I had black pepper crab in Singapore this summer. We loved it! I can't wait to recreate it at home - thanks!

  2. Spicy, peppery, buttery and super we need anything else? Looks amazing and I love all your yummy photos!!!!Have a lovely weekend!!!

  3. The crabs look wonderful. I used to be scared to cook them because they used to escape from out pot. I may try yours since im not as scared anymore.

  4. @Joy: You make me laugh! Yes, I am afraid I am still scared of crab or any shellfish popping out the pot! I have a reliable fishmonger over here, so it's all good for now.

  5. These look fantastic! What a delightful array of flavors :)

  6. This recipe sounds amazing! Great post!

  7. How much oil do you use in the wok? I.e. do you deep fry it or just pan fry?

    Looks delicious!

  8. @Meghan: I used about one cup of oil for pan-frying the crabs.

  9. Oh man! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. we used to get this at a local spot but they closed and I've been looking for a recipe ever's really the very best way to eat fresh crab, which is abundant in the San Francisco Bay Area!

  10. I tried this over the long weekend and it was delicious! we all loved it. Thanks for sharing this Recipe :)

  11. Angie, you are the answer to a prayer! :)
    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this incredibly delicious and oh so authentic recipe. We used to live in Singapore and, along with close friends, were big fans of Singapore's Black Pepper Crab. We have been trying since forever to reproduce the dish to no avail ....... until now!
    Thank you once again for sharing this recipe. You have no idea how happy and "sudah puas" you have made a particular group of friends here in the States!

  12. hi, did u put salt in the end? or sugar?

  13. Ohh~~~
    That is what I want!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Since I ate the pepper crab during visit to Singapore, sometimes I miss that. Now I live in Korea. I can't buy mud crab here though, I must try it with another kinds of crab. i'm happy to be here by your posting and thanks.:D

    excuse me,
    Is this really close to the jumbo pepper crab? How?
    It looks delicious! If I rude, I'm sorry. I just want to know.
    Thanks for your posting.

    1. You can try the recipe with other shellfish too; shrimps, mussels, or clams. I have not been to Jumbo, so I can't really comment on that.

  14. What is in the 5 spice powder?


    1. Chinese five spice powder consist of ground cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. You can purchase this powder at many Asian grocers.


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