Teochew Preserved Crab at Guan Hin

This is just a quick post before I forget how this dish is made. Feel free to add on to the experience in the comments. The detailed entry for Guan Hin visit to come later.

Anyway, a friend of ours managed to persuade the owner of Guan Hin to make Teochew Preserved Crabs for us. Being a non-crab lover (long story), I was hesitant, but decided to overcome my inhibitions and just go for it.

This is a rare Teochew delicacy that is labour intensive. Basically, you take live female crabs and drown them in premium grade soya sauce, herbs, sesame oil and other good stuff. Let the flavours mellow for about 3 days and what you get is a sticky sweet dish, covered with red roe that has slightly liquified (think runny eggs) and crushed peanuts that is absolutely out of this world.


For people worried about the cruelty and lack of mercy as applied to food, all I can say is that we did not climb to the top of the food chain to eat soy-based products. Not that I have anything against soy-based products. In moderation.

In other words, lighten up dude. 😛

Alright, the appearance was highly unappetizing, like most preserved items. So bad that some of the people at the table had problems eating it. Apparently to some, it looked like a dead cockroach. Well, go drown yourself in soya sauce for three days and see how good-looking you’ll be when they dig you out. 🙁

While it looked gruesome, it was like eating fresh Crab Sashimi. Slightly sweet with almost no aroma (which is a good thing for me). Other than the claws, there is no flesh to speak of, just a gooey substance that was lip-smackingly good.

RIMG0055 RIMG0067

When eaten with the chilli dip that was full of vinegar, it becomes a taste explosion. Deliciously cold sweetness mixed with sourish chilli dip. Awesome.

I don’t think I have ever tasted anything like this before. Then again, this is my first foray into crab-thingies. However, I was assured by the people around the table, all experienced food connoisseurs, that they have never tasted something like this.

I think it is a good start for me to begin (har!) eating crabs.

And the crab roe. Ooooh the crab roe…


This delicacy is available at most fine Teochew restaurants, but it requires an advance order, but really, it’s worth the wait.

Posted on 23rd Aug 2006 in Food and Drink, Makankaki, Old School, Teochew


There Are 11 Comments


carrie commented on August 23, 2006 at 9:34 am

The crab policeman are going to get you for climbing on top of their food chain! Truly soy smackingly evil.


eatzycath commented on August 24, 2006 at 3:04 am

truly horrifying just imagining it, but so intriguing – was it very expensive to order this dish and do you have to be like great pals with GH’s lau-pan before they agree to repeat this dish for other food adventurers ??


Ros commented on August 24, 2006 at 1:38 pm

That sounds delicious.

Isn’t the normal way to kill a crab to plunge it into boiling water whilst alive? I don’t understand how this is really any worse. Anyway, like you say, we are at the top of the food chain and compared to the way other carnivores kill their prey that isn’t particulary gruesome.

This is very interesting blog. I’ll be back to look around more soon! 🙂


Ivan commented on August 24, 2006 at 2:40 pm

@Carrie: ;PPP

@eatzycath: Well, for a 12-course dinner (it was splendid!) for 12, it came to $33 per person. Not too bad considering we had 2 crab dishes and lots of good stuff like Dried Or Nee (Yam Paste).

@Ros: It was! I have co-workers who have already called up the restaurant and placed their orders. Not trying to gross you out, but drowning is a slow death. Thanks for your kind comments!


eLAnee commented on August 27, 2006 at 2:22 pm

Hey, Ivan, I’m drooling over the crab and the roe!!!
Please tell me where’s this restaurant???


Ivan commented on August 27, 2006 at 9:06 pm

Hey Elaine!

Guan Hin is at #01-01 Block 34 Whampoa West (Nearest MRT: Boon Keng Station)


dill_76 commented on September 7, 2006 at 9:56 am

not its truly true by people say don’t judge book by its cover but in this case is food literally…………………


[…] I did not try it. Not that I have something against preserved seafood, but I just didn’t think it looked alright. Also I was told that cockles should be eaten up quickly otherwise they would not last. I think that’s not necessary as I spotted huge trays of cockles waiting to be plated and doused with the sauce on my way to the toilet. Everyone was slurping it up and enjoying themselves tremendously though, so I think that’s ok. […]


food.recentrunes.com » Blog Archive » A Round-up of 2006 commented on January 7, 2007 at 1:30 am

[…] 6. My first Crab (a raw one at that) at Guan Hin. […]


fortunatefool commented on January 9, 2008 at 10:27 am

mmmm crab goo. the one time i attempted to try this, i was turned away in thailand by the vendor who adamantly said “this one not for you!”


Ivan commented on January 9, 2008 at 10:41 am

@fortunatefool: I would have asked the vendor to prepare one specially. It was a real taste sensation!

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