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A few weeks ago my colleague Joyceanne came out of nowhere and told me she was going to give me some live crab and if I was going to be able to bring them home on my motorcycle. Well, since you don’t get opportunities like this very often, with the help of her friend Kaiqi, who actually supplied the crabs all the way from Johor, we loaded 3 live mud crabs into my backpack. Thank you Joyce & Kaiqi!

The crustaceans took a ride of their lifetime, and arrived safe and sound at home just in time for Haze and I to decide that butter crab is in the menu of the night.

first, you have to do the dirty job by killing the crabs
first, you have to do the dirty job by killing the crabs

For the muslims who may not want to consume mud crab, flower crab can be used in replacement with this cooking method as well.

Here’s the pretty simple recipe we found online for butter crab, originally shared on Rasa Malaysia.

The ingredients to serve 2-3 person:

  • 3 live mud crabs (or flower crabs)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/2 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch as thickening agent
  • 6-12 chili padi
  • 2-3 stalks of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste)

 melt butter, add chilli padi and curry leave before the crabs
melt butter, add chilli padi and curry leave before the crabs

The trickiest part of this recipe turned out to be .. killing the crab!

For those of you who has a heart made of steel, just go ahead and rip apart the crab’s shell alive and that’ll do the trick. We ended up using a chopstick and drove into the belly of the crabs, which also effectively killed the crab after about 10-15 minutes.

add evaporated milk and simmer for about 5 minutes
add evaporated milk and simmer for about 5 minutes

Anyway, here’s the cooking instructions:

  • clean and kill the crabs, then cut in halves and remove gills after removing shells, use pestle to pre-crack the crab claws for easier consumption
  • heat up wok with medium heat and melt butter
  • add chilli padi and curry leaves
  • when aroma is released, add crab and stir until the shells turn red
  • add evaporated milk and cover to simmer for about 5 minutes
  • add cornstarch (pre-mixed with water) and stir for a minute to thicken sauce before serving

here it is, creamy butter crab, goes well with some fried buns
here it is, creamy butter crab, goes well with some fried buns

And here you go, the butter crab turned out rather delicious. You can enjoy this dish with some fried buns or with rice/noodle, or basically anything.

Now you know what to do with live crabs! Check out other recipes by yours truly by clicking on the KY Cooks category. :)

Discuss : KY cooks – Butter Crab Recipe

  1. sign me up to attend KY’s Private Kitchen/Supper Club. would like to order butter crab, devil eggs, pork rib radish soup and roast chicken. dessert you decide la. let me know whether you provide wine or if we should bring our own :D

  2. KY, I like this recipe and ingredients are easy to find. As for mud crabs I have to use blue crabs for it since that not found in San Francisco. Friends make fun of me for I am a Vet and care for animals but not crabs or chickens other livestocks. I am a Pet Doctor.

    My best patient a cat name Handsome Boy. This yellow cat almost dance when he see me.

    • Vickie: hahaha, is that cos these creatures don’t make a sound whatever you do? :P

  3. when i was serving internship at Sandakan years back, i cooked seafood almost ebery weekend cos the seafood is jaw-dropping kinda cheap!

    i remembered the first time i killed the crabs with chopstick i kept amitabha-ing wtf. it’s my first time killing an animal alive, excluding ant and mozzie la. but they were dead for a good cause, to satiate our appetite wtf.

    this recipe quite easy to replicate! gonna ask daddy to buy some crabs back hehe! thanks for sharing!

    • Constance Ant: Wah that must have been very nice! I love some cheap and good seafood too but unfortunately here in KL it’s far from the truth.

  4. Yummmmmm!!!!! Can’t remember the last time I had crabs – too expensive plus the cholesterol…and after not eating it for a long time, I would itch a bit when eating some.

  5. immature

    lol very farnee reading about you in the forums uncle

  6. Nice, something different at least. My mom normally cooks with the sweet-chili sauce style, to be served with man tou :grin:

  7. Yum, coincidentally, I posted this on my FB today, craving it. :)

  8. can I sub the evap milk with thick cream instead? Since I have that at home…thanks.

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