Aussie Chilli Crab

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Aussie Chilli Crab

This is an amazing recipe I picked up here in Aus.  I don’t know if it’s done elsewhere, but I definitely haven’t ever seen it on a menu before!  A few days ago a friend and I went to check crab pots he’d thrown into the river.  One can only take male crabs of a certain size, otherwise they must be thrown back.  It isn’t the right season, so I was told not to expect too much.  We found two that qualified, and had a blast.  We went out again the next day, and to our surprise, we found the traps full!!  Another six met the criteria, and we decided to make a night of it.  A group of us got together at my friend’s place, in their beautiful backyard and ate chilli crab to our hearts content.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!



PS. Sorry about the terrible iPhone photos, I was going to bring my Canon, but knew I wouldn’t enjoy myself as much if I did…

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  • 2 kg live mud crab
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/3 cup rice wine or dry sherry
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Thai style sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander



To prepare the crabs: Kill the crabs humanely, please.  Place them in the freezer for 2 hours.  Boil a large pot of water over high heat.  Once crabs are “asleep” (no longer moving), plunge them into the boiling water for about 60 seconds (until they begin to turn red).  Set aside to cool.

Remove the legs and claws. Lightly tap the body shells with the back of a knife to crack it.  Remove the top shell from each crab body and clean the inside. Cut the body into 4 pieces.

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Heat olive oil in large wok over high heat.  Add shallots, garlic, chilli, and ginger, and cook until fragrant.  Add crab pieces, including claws, and stir for further 5 minutes.  Add wine, and cook until liquid reduced by half.

Combine vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, and sugar in a small bowl.  Add to wok.  Toss and cook for 2 minutes, until crab is thoroughly cooked.  Garnish with coriander.  Enjoy!

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Wine Pairing: Cape Campbell Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.  Often I’m not this specific, however we drank this with the wine, and it could not have possible paired more beautifully.

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