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Kepiting Saus Padang (Crab in Padang Chili Sauce)

Posting Date: 05/26/19

Kepiting Saus Padang (Crab in Padang Chili Sauce)

Kepiting Saus Padang (Crab in Padang Chili Sauce) originated in Padang, Sumatra. The dishes from this area is normally hot. So, this dish is traditionally spicy. I have adjusted the recipe to make it milder to accommodate people who have lower tolerance to heat. If you like the heat, you can use more chili sauce. Instead of using crab, you can use shrimp, clam, or mussel. I have previously posted Udang Saus Padang (Shrimp in Chili sauce) on this website if you are interested in trying the shrimp version.

To make the recipe, traditionally red chili peppers are used. Since it is hard to find red chili peppers in my Asian stores, I use sambal oelek. You can use any other chili peppers, such as jalapeno peppers if you cannot find sambal oelek.

The sauce is so delicious and really good with rice. I feel the sauce is perfect to eat with rice anytime as a side for any dish. Add the crabs, it becomes my favorite seafood recipe since I really love crabs and the sauce adds flavor to the crabs.

This recipe serves 2 people.


  • 2 big or 4 small life crabs (about 2.5 lbs total)
  • 1 lime
  • For spice paste: 6 small or 1 large size shallot, halved
  • For spice paste: 4 cloves of garlic, halved
  • For spice paste: 1" fresh ginger, sliced
  • For spice paste: 4 candlenuts, quartered. You can substitute with macadamia nuts if you cannot find it in Asian stores or you can skip it.
  • For spice paste: 1 tablespoon sambal oelek. You can use 2 jalapeno peppers or any chili peppers, instead.
  • For spice paste: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1 bay leave
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn at the edge to release the oil. Kaffir lime leaves can be found fresh or frozen in Asian stores. I normally use the frozen one since it is easier to find than fresh one. Just thaw it on the kitchen counter for at least 15 min before using. You can substitute kaffir lime leaves with 1 teaspoon lime zest if you cannot find kaffir lime leaves in Asian stores.
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce or to taste. I use sriracha sauce. If you like heat, you can use more.
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
  • 1/4 tespoon salt or to taste
  • 1 pinch black pepper or to taste
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley, minced


  1. Using a pair of tongs, place one crab at a time in a big bowl and rinse it with water. Remove the crab using a pair of tongs and place it in a big bowl that will fit all the crabs. Dump the water. Repeat this step until all crabs have been rinsed. When working with life crabs, please be careful because they can hurt you. That's why I use a pair of tongs to handle them.
  2. Fill up big pot with water. Make sure the pot is big enough to fit the crabs and the water is enough to submerge the crabs. Cut the lime into half and squeeze the lime into the pot.
  3. Heat the pot over high heat. Once the water is boiling, add the crabs into the pot. Cook the crabs until it is fully cooked, i.e. they have turned red. With a pair of tongs, remove the crabs and set them aside to cool down. Once the crabs have cooled down, remove the top shell and clean the inside. Cut the crab into half.
  4. While boiling the crabs, add all spice paste ingredients into a food processor. Process until it becomes smooth paste.
  5. Once crabs have been cleaned and cut into half, add vegetable oil into a pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add spice paste, sliced onion, bay leave, and kafir lime leaves into the pan. Saute them until the onion has become soft and the spice paste becomes fragrant. Add oyster sauce, ketchup, and chili sauce into the pan. Stir to mix. Reduce the heat to medium. Beat the egg lightly and add slowly into the pan. When adding the egg into the pan, make sure you stir the sauce and egg on the pan to separate the egg into small pieces since we don't want to make fried egg or scramble egg. Add sugar, salt, and pepper into the pan and stir to mix. Taste it and add more sugar, salt, pepper, or chili sauce if needed. Add crabs into the pan. Stir to make sure the crabs are coated with the sauce and absorb the flavor from the sauce. Cook until the sauce has slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Sprinkle with minced fresh parsley. Discard kaffir lime leaves and bay leave.
  6. Serve warm with rice.

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