Black pepper crab

Black pepper crab

This recipe for black pepper crab from John Javier is a Singaporean classic. Deep-fried crispy crab is soaked in a black pepper-infused butter. It's delicious with fried mantou for soaking up the peppery, fragrant sauce.
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  1. Step 1

    Shock the crab in ice water for 15 minutes, then kill it with a sharp blow to the nerve centre on its underbelly
  2. Step 2

    To break the crab down, start by removing the claws from the body. Next remove the top shell of the head to expose the inside of the crab. Quarter the crab with a cleaver
  3. Step 3

    In a large steel mixing bowl, mix together the plain flour and potato starch
  4. Step 4

    Add the chopped brown onions and garlic to a saucepan. Cook over low heat until caramelised. Add the dried shrimp and curry leaves and cook for a further minute. Set aside to cool down
  5. Step 5

    Preheat a deep fryer or large pot of oil to 180°C. If you are deep frying in a pot, make sure that you do not fill it more than 1/3 of the way as the oil expands and may overflow
  6. Step 6

    Once the cooked onion mixture is room temperature, add the salt, pepper, sugar, oyster sauce and MSG. Mix thoroughly, then add the butter and mix again, making sure that there are no clumps of plain unsalted butter
  7. Step 7

    Add the extra curry leaves to a small metal sieve or a wok spider. Deep-fry the leaves in the oil until crisp but not coloured, and transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to cool down
  8. Step 8

    Toss the crab in the flour mix and deep fry for 2 minutes at 180°C. Once cooked, remove the crab from the pot and place it into a large steel mixing bowl
  9. Step 9

    Heat up a few ladles of the black pepper butter gently in a saucepan whilst whisking. It should get warm but not sizzling. Pour the butter over the cooked crab and toss until the crab is well coated in the sauce
  10. Step 10

    Transfer the crab to a plate, and assemble it into a crab-like shape. Top with more sauce and the crispy curry leaves, and serve with noodles or fried mantou