Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi Restourant Style Malay Sea Food


Embark on a gastronomic journey to Thailand, where the tantalizing aromas of spices and herbs converge to create culinary masterpieces. Among the plethora of Thai seafood dishes, Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi stands out as a beacon of flavor, offering a delightful fusion of creamy coconut milk, fiery bird’s eye chilies, and succulent crab. In this restaurant-style recipe, we invite you to delve into the heart of Thai cuisine and discover the secrets behind this exquisite dish.

Originating from the southern regions of Thailand, Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi exemplifies the bold and vibrant flavors that characterize Thai cooking. With influences from Malay and Thai culinary traditions, this dish showcases the harmonious marriage of rich coconut cream, aromatic lemongrass, and the intense heat of bird’s eye chilies. Join us as we unravel the intricacies of Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi, guiding you through each step of its preparation with precision and finesse.


To embark on this culinary adventure, gather the following ingredients:

For the Spice Paste (Rempah):

  • 8-10 bird’s eye chilies (cili padi), finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of dried shrimp paste (belacan)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

For the Ketam Masak Lemak (Crab in Spicy Coconut Cream):

  • 2 large mud crabs, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 2 cups of coconut milk
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • 3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Before we embark on the cooking process, let’s prepare our ingredients with care and attention to detail, ensuring that each element contributes to the symphony of flavors that defines Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi.

  1. Clean and Prepare the Mud Crabs:

    • Rinse the mud crabs under cold running water to remove any dirt or impurities.
    • Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the top shell and discard the gills and innards.
    • Cut the crabs into smaller pieces, making sure to crack the claws to allow the flavors to penetrate during cooking.
  2. Prepare the Spice Paste (Rempah):

    • In a mortar and pestle or a food processor, combine the chopped bird’s eye chilies, minced garlic, chopped shallots, grated ginger, sliced lemongrass, dried shrimp paste, ground turmeric, ground coriander, and ground cumin.
    • Pound or process the ingredients into a smooth paste, releasing their essential oils and aromas.

Cooking Process:

Now that our ingredients are prepped and ready, let’s dive into the culinary adventure of cooking Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi, where each step is a testament to the rich tapestry of Thai flavors and traditions.

  1. Prepare the Ketam Masak Lemak (Crab in Spicy Coconut Cream):
    • In a large wok or skillet, heat the cooking oil over medium heat.
    • Add the spice paste (rempah) to the wok and saut√© it until fragrant, releasing its aromatic flavors into the oil.
    • Once the spice paste is fragrant, pour in the coconut milk, stirring to combine with the spice paste.
    • Add the torn kaffir lime leaves and bruised lemongrass stalks to the wok, infusing the coconut milk with their citrusy aroma.
    • Allow the coconut milk mixture to simmer gently, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  2. Cook the Mud Crabs:

    • Once the coconut milk mixture is simmering, carefully add the cleaned and cut mud crab pieces to the wok, ensuring they are fully submerged in the sauce.
    • Cover the wok and let the crabs cook for 10-15 minutes, or until they turn orange-red and the flesh is opaque and tender.
    • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar to balance the flavors, adding more bird’s eye chilies for extra heat if desired.
  3. Garnish and Serve:

    • Once the mud crabs are cooked to perfection and the sauce has reached the desired consistency, remove the wok from the heat.
    • Transfer the Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi to a serving platter, ensuring that each crab piece is coated in the creamy coconut sauce.
    • Garnish the dish with fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of color and herbaceous aroma, enhancing the presentation and flavor profile.


As we prepare to present our culinary masterpiece, let’s pay homage to the vibrant and dynamic culture of Thailand, where food is not just sustenance but a celebration of life and community.

  1. Serve the Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi:

    • Present the Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi in a traditional Thai-style serving dish, allowing the rich aroma of coconut and spices to entice the senses.
    • Arrange the crab pieces neatly on the platter, ensuring that each guest receives a generous portion of succulent crab meat and creamy coconut sauce.
  2. Accompaniments:

    • Serve the Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi with steamed jasmine rice or fluffy coconut rice, allowing diners to soak up the luscious sauce and savor the flavors of Thailand.
    • Provide additional bird’s eye chilies on the side for diners who crave extra heat, along with wedges of fresh lime for a tangy burst of acidity.
  3. Enjoyment:

    • Encourage your guests to dig into this savory delight with gusto, savoring the tender crab meat and luxuriously creamy coconut sauce.
    • Embrace the communal spirit of Thai dining as you share stories and laughter around the table, forging bonds that transcend cultural boundaries and culinary traditions.


In conclusion, Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi is a testament to the vibrant flavors and rich heritage of Thai cuisine, inviting diners on a culinary journey that celebrates the bold and dynamic flavors of Thailand. With its creamy coconut sauce, fiery bird’s eye chilies, and succulent mud crab, this dish encapsulates the essence of Thai cooking, where every bite tells a story of tradition, innovation, and culinary mastery.

By following this restaurant-style recipe with meticulous attention to detail, you have unlocked the secrets of Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi, allowing you to recreate this iconic dish in the comfort of your own kitchen. Whether enjoyed as a lavish feast with family and friends or as a comforting meal on a chilly evening, Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi promises to delight the senses and transport you to the bustling streets of Thailand, where the aroma of spices and herbs fills the air and every meal is a celebration of life.

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