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Garlic Butter Crab with Sweet Chili Sauce

A garlic butter crab recipe to satisfy your seafood cravings. Extra garlicky, buttery, savory, slightly sweet with a hint of spicy. Definitely worth getting your hands messy!

Crab in Garlic and Butter  Sauce

Garlic Butter Crab Recipe

Craving for seafood and ready to get your hands messy? Then this recipe is absolutely for you!

It’s essentially an Asian-style crab. You’ll love this because:

  • I will show you how to prepare and clean the crabs. Photos included! You’re welcome 🙂
  • The garlic butter sauce is so easy to make. No complicated steps.
  • The sauce is so finger-lickin’ good! Packed with bold Asian flavors that perfectly complement the crab.
Crab recipe with Garlic Butter Sauce Oyster Sauce

Garlic Butter Sauce Ingredients

And here’s what you need to make the sauce.

  1. Garlic – lots of it! I used two bulbs for maximum flavor.
  2. Butter – use pure unsalted butter for the best flavor.
  3. Sweet Chili Sauce – I used my favorite Thai sweet chili sauce.
  4. Oyster Sauce – for a bit of umami-ness.
  5. Chicken Bouillon or powder – for more depth of flavor.

How to Prepare the Crabs

I know this part is not everyone’s favorite but IT MUST BE DONE!

Before anything else, make sure to buy live crabs or pre-cooked crab for convenience. There’s no third option. This means you need to absolutely avoid dead raw crabs. They’re mushy and generally don’t taste good.

As soon as you get home, soak the crabs in tap water for 30 minutes to purge their internal system. Next place in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes. This will put them to sleep before cooking.

How to Clean the Crabs

step by step photos to clean the crab
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add ginger, and black peppercorns. Add the crabs and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until they start to float. Transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Start cleaning by removing the top shell.
  • Cut in half with a knife. Don’t discard the crab fat. Save it for the sauce later.
  • Remove the gills with your hands.
  • Finally, crack the claws with a mallet or a cracker. This will allow the sauce to steep inside and flavore the crab meat.

The BEST Garlic Butter Sauce

And here’s how to make it! So easy!

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Watch carefully to prevent it from burning.

step by step photos to make garlic butter sauce for crabs

Pour the seasonings–sweet chili sauce, oyster sauce, and chicken bouillon. Continue cooking over low heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Add the crabs including the crab fat (butter).

Toss for a good few minutes until the crab is drenched in the sauce. Yum!

Serve

Enjoy with a cold bottle of beer or make it as a main dish and serve it with rice Asian-style.

Love Asian flavors? Try these recipes:

Crab in Garlic and Butter Sauce

Garlic Butter Crab with Sweet Chili Sauce

A crab recipe to satisfy your seafood cravings. Extra garlicky, buttery, savory, slightly sweet with a hint of spicy. Definitely worth getting your hands messy!
Print Pin
Servings: 6
Author: Mella
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 med-size live crabs (see note 1)
  • 1 thumb ginger (sliced)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • water for boiling

Garlic Butter Sauce

  • 2 bulb garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup / 2 sticks unsalted butter (see note 2)
  • 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce (I used Thai)
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp chicken powder (or 1/4 pc chicken bouillon cube)
  • dash of liquid seasoning (optional)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup water (optional)

Instructions

Prepare and clean the crabs

  • Soak the live crabs in tap water for 30 minutes to purge their internal system. Next place in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add ginger, and black peppercorns. Add the crabs and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until they start to float. Transfer to an ice bath to quickly cool down.
  • Start cleaning by removing the top shell. Cut the body in half with a knife. Don’t discard the crab fat. Save it for the sauce later. Remove the gills with your hands. Finally, crack the claws with a mallet or a cracker.

Make the Garlic Butter Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook until fragrant. Watch carefully to prevent it from burning.
  • Pour the sweet chili sauce, oyster sauce, and chicken powder. Continue cooking over low heat. Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste. If you want it saucier, you can add water, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup.
  • Add the crabs including the crab fat (butter). Toss until the crab is drenched in the sauce. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  1. Types of crabs recommended: You can use blue crab, mud crab, Dungeness crab, snow crab, or king crab. Frozen pre-cooked crabs can also be used for convenience.
  2. Butter can be reduced up to 1/2 cup. Replaced with 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water to make the liquid saucier.
Cuisine : Asian
Keyword : Asian Crab Recipe
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