Crab Tang Hoon (Glass Noodles)

Crab tang hoon (螃蟹冬粉) aka crab with glass noodles, is a popular dish in our local zi char scene. A dish like this, as with all seafood zi char dishes, does not come cheap when ordered outside. But you can make this dish at a fraction of the cost at home.

Crab Tang Hoon (Glass Noodles) Recipe

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Crab Tang Hoon (Glass Noodles) Recipe

Though this dish is more local than Thai, I still adapted my trusty Thai recipe for making this dish, because it always yields maximum results with minimum effort for me. There are some differences between this crab version as compared to the scallop or prawn glass noodle recipes. One, a crab needs at least 15 minutes of cooking, so I stir-fry them first before adding to the main claypot. And two, crab juices are naturally saltier than scallops and prawns, so the seasonings need to be toned down. Don’t worry if you don’t have a claypot, just cook and simmer everything in a wok.

Crab Tang Hoon (Glass Noodles) Recipe
The deliciousness is guaranteed in this dish, with the glass noodles absorbing every last drop of the crab essence. If you need step-by-step photos for layering the claypot, please check out my claypot scallops recipe.

Crab Tang Hoon (Glass Noodles) Recipe

This is my first crab dish, after 11 years of keeping this recipe blog.  I love crabs but I never got past the phobia of killing the crab myself, even though I have seen my mum done it at home when I was young. As you might have heard, crabs must be slaughtered and cooked as soon as possible for maximum freshness. Sheng Siong at Tampines central regularly sells freshly slaughtered crab in their seafood fridge. You can also pick a live crab from the tank and they can slaughter it for you on the spot. Besides Sheng Siong, you can also find this service at the wet market. I prefer Sheng Siong, because they discard the top shell by default, so you pay by weight only for the main meaty part of the crab. The top shell makes up 1/4 of the total cost of each crab. I bought the whole crab with the top shell for vanity (photography) purpose.  Anyway once you reached home, put the crab in the fridge immediately and cook it as soon as possible, latest by the end of the day. So now that I finally found a solution to my crab-killing phobia (by getting someone else to do it for me :P), I’m looking forward to making more crab dishes next year.

Crab Tang Hoon (Glass Noodles) Recipe

For best results, use fresh crab that is freshly slaughtered and cooked as soon as possible on the same day. You can get the fresh or wet market to slaughter and cut the crab for you.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a claypot, you can cook and simmer everything in a wok.

Serve this as a side-dish for 2-3 persons, or eat it on its own as a one-dish meal.


  • 1/2 + 1/2 tbsp cooking oil divided
  • 3 thin slices ginger julienned
  • 5 cloves garlic bruised
  • 2 stalks spring onion (white portion only) cut to 5 cm or 2-inch sections
  • 1 mud crab freshly slaughtered, gills discarded and cut to smaller pieces
  • 4 dashes white pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing/Hua Tiao wine
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 stalks spring onion (green portion only) cut to 5 cm or 2-inch sections
  • 60 grams glass noodles (tang hoon 冬粉) soaked in a bowl of water until softened, drained
  • 2 slices streaky bacon (fattier cut preferred) cut to 3 cm strips
  • coriander and/or finely chopped spring onion to garnish

(A) Aromatics (gently pound)

  • 4 peeled garlic cloves
  • 3/4 tsp peppercorns (mix of black and white)
  • 1 tsp snipped coriander stalks
  • 4 thinly sliced ginger julienned (thin strips)

(B) Sauce Seasonings

  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 100 ml water
  • 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Thai fish sauce


  1. Stir-fry the crab. Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a wok. Add ginger, garlic and spring onion (white portion), stir frying until fragrant. Add crab pieces and white pepper. Stir fry until the shells turn orange. Add Shaoxing wine and water. Cover wok with lid and steam for 5 minutes. Stir in the spring onion (green portion) while the contents are hot.
  2. Prepare aromatics and tang hoon. Gently pound aromatics at (A) until their flavour is released and the peppercorns coarsely cracked open. Combine glass noodles with sauce seasonings (B) in a large bowl.
  3. Make crab tang hoon in a claypot. Line the bottom of a claypot with bacon strips and drizzle remaining cooking oil over the bacon. Heat the claypot on medium low heat. Add pounded aromatics on top of bacon. When the aromatics are fragrant and sizzling, add glass noodles, remaining sauce and stir-fried crabs (including the crab juices), in that order. Cover claypot with lid. Increase the heat to medium high and let the contents simmer for 5 minutes. Open the lid. Using kitchen tongs or chopsticks, stir through to coat the noodles evenly. Cover with lid and cook for another 5 minutes, until the crab is fully cooked.
  4. To serve, garnish with coriander and/or spring onion and serve in the claypot immediately.