Recipe: Spicy Soft Shell Crab With Pickled Vegetables

Sister pair Tasia and Gracia Seger from Australian cooking show “My Kitchen Rules” share an easy-to-make, Asian-inspired recipe


INGREDIENTS (serves four)

  • 4 Large soft shell crabs, halved
  • Rice flour, to dust
  • Coriander leaves and sliced green spring onions, to garnish
  • Pickle
  • 250ml Rice vinegar
  • 150g Caster sugar
  • 1tsp Salt
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 4 Red radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 Medium carrot, cut into julienne


Crab Sauce

  • 5 Small red Thai chillies
  • 5 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 Eschallots, chopped
  • 1cm piece Galangal, chopped
  • 2cm piece Fresh ginger, chopped
  • 2 tsp Sesame oil
  • 2 Green spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 250ml Tomato sauce
  • 125ml Beef stock
  • 2 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp Kecap manis


Bao Buns

  • 300g (2 cups) Self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • ½ tsp Caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • Approx. 250ml Coconut milk
  • Sesame oil, for brushing
  • 8 Baking paper cut into small squares



1. To make pickles, stir vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Stir in vegetables and set aside to cool completely.

2. To make crab sauce, process chillies, garlic, eschallots, galangal and ginger until finely chopped.

3. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Cook chilli mixture until soft and fragrant. Stir in onions. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes or until soft and thick.

4. To make the buns, sift combined flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. With motor operating, gradually add the coconut milk until mixture forms into dough.

5. Divide dough into 8 portions and cover with a clean tea towel to prevent it from drying out. Roll portions, one at a time, on a lightly floured surface, into a 3mm-thick oval and brush with oil.

6. Fold each oval in half and place a small piece of baking paper (10cm x 8cm) in between the two halves, to stop them sticking together during cooking. Place folded buns in a bamboo steamer lined with baking paper.

7. Steam, covered, over a saucepan of simmering water for about 10 minutes or until cooked through.

8. To cook crabs, place rice flour in a shallow bowl. Season well. Pat crabs dry with absorbent paper towel and dust in seasoned flour.

9. Deep-fry until golden and crisp. Remove crabs with a slotted spoon and drain on an absorbent paper towel.

10. Place crabs in buns and drizzle with sauce. Serve with pickle. Garnish with coriander and spring onions.


Tasia and Gracia


Siblings Tasia, 26, and Gracia Seger, 24, can fight like the best of sisters, but they say it only fuels their passion in the kitchen.

With their growing up years spent in Indonesia, India and Australia, these two home cooks have cultivated a culinary style that’s influenced by a wide variety of flavours and ingredients.

The feisty contestants for one of DIVA’s tentpole series My Kitchen Rules (Season 7) were in Singapore recently and this is one of their favourite recipes.

The Season Finale of “My Kitchen Rules Season 7” airs Wednesday at 9:25pm, on DIVA, Singtel TV Ch 303 & StarHub Ch 513.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of Weekender, Issue 159, August 19 – September 1, 2016, with the headline ‘Spicy soft shell crab with pickled vegetables’.