Kam Heong Crab – Stir Fried Crab with Fragrant Paste

It took me sometime to finally get some crab and make this dish. I miss this dish and I have not been eating it for the last 2 years but because I made the fragrant paste a few times and it wasn’t up to my expectations, so I ditched this for some time. Finally this round it was pretty good and I would say it is almost the same as the restaurant taste. A keeper recipe for me finally!

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Kam Heong Crab

Kam Heong Crab is a type of crab dish that you see in almost every Chinese seafood restaurant in Malaysia. There are so many versions of of it in different restaurants and people will always compare and find their own sweet spot for this crab dish.

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Kam Heong Crab

The word “Kam Heong” is referring to sweet and bitter with good fragrance. I am not sure who came up with this name for this crab dish. If you look at the ingredient list for the fragrant paste, it has more than 10 ingredients in it. The combination of these ingredients just makes your tongue goes into chaotic mode when you taste it, in a good way. It is sweet, salty, pungent, spicy with curry hint and many more which I cannot describe. Try it then you will know.

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Kam Heong Crab

There is only 1 bad point coming from this dish which is your fingers will have this fragrant paste smell for a few hours if you don’t clean your hand properly. So, you know what you need to do.

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Kam Heong Crab – Crab Claw

Kam Heong Crab – Stir Fried Crab with Fragrant Paste (serves 2)


  • 3 blue swimmer crab
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 20g of dried shrimp, soak in ¼ cup of water for 5 minutes
  • 2 bird eye chilli, sliced
  • Fragrant Paste:
    • 8g shallots
    • 8g of garlic
    • 8g lemongrass
    • 8g of dried shrimp, soak in 2 tablespoon of water for 5 minutes
    • 1 bird eye chilli
    • 30g of oyster sauce
    • 20g soy sauce
    • 15g fermented soybean paste
    • 15g of sugar
    • 5g of belacan (dried shrimp paste)
    • 1 teaspoon of dark soy sauce
    • ½  sprig of curry leaves
    • 1  teaspoon of fish curry powder
    • ¼ teaspoon of meat curry powder
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Oil for frying the crab
  • 2 tablespoon of oil, take from the oil used to fry crab


  1. First let’s make the fragrant paste. Combine all the ingredients under the Fragrant Paste section in a blender. Include a tablespoon of water used to soak the dried shrimp. Blend into a smooth paste and set aside.
  2. Clean the crab and chop into smaller pieces. You can refer to this video on how to clean crab.
  3. Now we are going to fry the crab in order to seal the crab’s taste for stir frying later. Simply just coat the crab with cornstarch and fry in oil of temperature 160°C until the crab turn to white and orange colour. Set aside.
  4. Using a wok or in my case a medium pot, set heat to medium. Put in 2 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is heated up, add in the fragrant paste to fry. Takes about 2 to 3 minutes to cook the fragrant paste. After that, add in dried shrimp, bird eye chilli and curry leaves, cook for another 1 minute.
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  5. Now you can add in the crab and stir fry to coat the fragrant paste onto the crab. About 2-3 minutes process till done. Eat while it’s hot.

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