Is there anything better than seafood drenched in a delicious sauce that your whole family will fight over? This amped-up version of creamy sweet chili crab dampa style turns a classic Filipino comfort dish into a quick and satisfying weeknight meal even the pickiest eaters will love.
If you’re in Manila, there’s these rows of restaurants called Dampa. Dampa is actually “hut” in English, and these Dampa are small stalls usually near a Seafood Market that cooks live and fresh seafood that you bought yourselves. They only charge you for cooking your goodies from the market.
Anyway, one of my family’s favorites to order is the Sweet Chili Crab. I already wrote one here: Chilli Crab Recipe Filipino Style, lol. We really love crabs and seafood! This is another crab recipe that you can try.
I just happened to pass by a street vendor selling freshwater crabs and shrimps and instantly I thought of cooking this sweet chili crab. These are the small freshwater crabs, not the big ones. I think in the island we called it “kalapay”. Its been a year or so since we last had some.
I got into chit chat with the “Manong” Vendor and I asked him about the girl, boy, bakla tomboy issue. I usually here this when I go to the market, O, buy this one, mas maganda, bading kase. It was a bit funny and weird to be asking about it. Here’s his little advice. Study the underside, in particular the light-coloured triangular flap. Males have narrow bellies while the females’ are wide and rounded. In comparison, the “Bakla” or gay crab is not as narrow but not as wide as the females. If you prefer to have it with “itlog” or eggs, get the female ones. If you want it fleshy, get the “gay” ones. :P
How to cook Sweet Chili Crab Dampa Style
To make this Dampa-style crab recipe, first heat 1 tablespoon cooking oil plus 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan over medium-high heat.
Add 1 1/2 pounds crab claws and legs, cut into halves if large. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes until the crab begins to turn pink and opaque.
Pour in 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce, 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine.
Simmer the crab in the sweet and spicy sauce for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly and coats the crab.
Remove from the heat and garnish with 3 tablespoons sliced green onion. Serve piping hot with steamed rice to soak up every last drop of the tangy, chili-lime sauce.
For stressed-out moms and busy families, this easy crab recipe delivers comfort food perfection in under 30 minutes. Let me know how your loved ones enjoy this quick and saucy sweet chili crab! For more family-friendly Filipino fare, sign up for my newsletter at relaxlangmom.com.
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