Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 8 large (3kg) uncooked blue swimmer crabs

  2. 1 tablespoon peanut oil

  3. 4 fresh red chillies, seeded, chopped finely

  4. 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

  5. 4 cloves garlic, crushed

  6. 1 tablespoon fish sauce

  7. 1/3 cup (80ml) tomato sauce

  8. 1/4 cup (60ml) sweet chilli sauce

  9. 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  10. 1 cup (250ml) fish stock

  11. 1 cup (250ml) water

  12. 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves

  13. NOTE: This recipe is best made close to serving. Mud crabs are traditionally used for this recipe, but we've used blue swimmer crabs, as they are readily available and less expensive.

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Remove the v-shaped flaps on the undersides of the crabs. Turn the crabs over and place your fingers (if the crabs are large, you may need to use a knife) in the seam between the back two legs, and push up to lever off the shells. Pull the shells up and remove them.

  2. Remove the feathery gills. Cut each crab in half through the centre of the body, then shake out the gut, which is the grey or mustard-coloured substance; rinse lightly (avoid using too much water for this and don?t rinse under a running tap as doing so will dilute the delicate flavour).

  3. Remove the claws from the crabs. Crack both sections of the claws using a shellfish cracker, a nutcracker or a meat mallet this allows the spicy sauce to be absorbed and makes it easier to remove the flesh for eating.

  4. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan; cook the chilli, ginger and garlic until fragrant. Add the combined sauces, then sugar, stock and water; stir until the mixture boils. Transfer two-thirds of the sauce to a jug; reserve. Add the claws to the sauce remaining in the wok, stir-fry for about 4 minutes or until changed in colour and just cooked through.

  5. Remove from the wok, cover to keep warm. Add half the reserved sauce and half the crab bodies to the wok, stir-fry for 5 minutes or until cooked through; remove. Repeat with the remaining sauce and crab. Serve sprinkled with coriander.

  6. Photography by Alan Benson.


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