Chilli crab with Asian scented rice

James Martin serves sweet and spicy crabmeat with fragrant herb-flecked rice
By James Martin
Chilli crab with Asian scented rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the chilli crab

  • 2 spider crab
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 red scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 small knob ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 125 ml sweet chilli sauce
  • handfuls coriander, chopped

For the rice

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • green cardamom, crushed to release the seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 200 g basmati rice
  • 750 ml stock, (or cooking water from the crab)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander


1. For the chilli crab: bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the crabs, cover with a lid and cook for 10-12 minutes. Remove the crabs and leave to cool, reserving the cooking water for the rice.

2. Once cool, crack the legs and claws off the crabs. Remove the crabmeat from the shells and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot and gently fry the chillies, ginger and garlic for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and a splash of water to the pan. Stir in the sweet chilli sauce and simmer for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the heat until ready to serve.

4. For the rice: heat the oil and fry the onions until tender. Add the cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, star anise and cloves and cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the rice and stir well. Add half the stock, bring to the boil and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.

6. Quarter one of the lime and add the pieces to the rice. Add the remaining stock, cover again and cook until the rice is fluffy. Add the grated zest of the second lime and the coriander to the rice cooked rice and stir through.

7. Add the prepared crabmeat, and the crab legs and claws to the chilli sauce to warm through.

8. Serve the warm chilli crab with the scented rice.

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