Mud Crab w Ginger, Spring Onions & Sesame

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By Darren Purchese

OMG this dish is Ah-mazing! A real luxury that screams ‘Celebrate!’.

Certainly, it’s a non-traditional Chrissy day main dish but I’d choose this dish over a dry Turkey every single time.

Please try to source live cleaned mud crabs and please kill them humanely. Simply place the crabs into the freezer for 35 minutes where they will sleep and die. You can use other varieties of crab for this depending on what you have available near to you. Visit your fishmonger at your local market to ask about preordering and remember this is a luxury, read expensive, item especially at Christmas.

This needs to be one of the last things cooked on Christmas day, with this being the case make sure other items on your menu are things that can be prepared in advance to minimise the stress and workload when you should be raising a glass.

Photography by Ari Hatzis.

Time

0

hour

45

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Easy

Save

0

Portions

4
servings

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Ingredients

Servings

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2 whole mud crabs, cleaned, live approx. 1.5kg in weight
4tbsp potato starch
400 ml vegetable oil
100g ginger, fresh, peeled and thinly sliced
10 spring onions, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 garlic clove finely grated
400 ml chicken stock *
3tbsp Shaoxing wine **
3tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
2 red chilli, thinly sliced
½ bunch coriander, washed & picked
1

Prepare the crab… remove the crab from the freezer and lift the abdominal flap underneath, pull it to remove and discard it. Hold the bottom end of the large top shell and pull it away. Pull off and discard the gills and use your fingers to scoop out and discard any internal bits. Twist off each large claw and crack them with the back of a heavy knife. Cut the body of each crab in half with the legs attached then cut each section through the body again into 2 pieces. Dust all of the pieces lightly with half of the potato starch.

 

2

To cook the crab claws… add the vegetable oil to a large clean wok and heat to a temperature of 170°C - 175°C over a medium heat. Add two of the claws and cook them for 2-3 minutes until they turn red, careful of spitting oil. Remove the claws and reserve, cook the remaining two claws the same way and again reserve with the remaining crab pieces. Pour the hot oil into a separate pot and allow it to cool. Mix the remaining potato starch with 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock and reserve.

 

3

To cook the dish… wipe clean the cooled wok with paper towel and add 2 tablespoons of the cooled vegetable oil (you can discard the rest). Heat the wok over a medium heat and add the ginger, ¾ of the spring onion and the garlic. Stir-fry for a minute before adding the crab pieces and the remaining chicken stock. Add a pinch of salt flakes and give it a mix before covering with a lid and simmering the crab for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the reserved potato starch/stock mix and stir in well. Add the Shaoxing wine and sesame oil and heat hot.

 

4

To serve… Arrange the crab into a serving dish and cover with the sauce and the reserved sliced spring onions, sliced chilli, sesame seeds and coriander.

 

5

* You can substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock or even shellfish stock if catering for pescatarians.

** Shaoxing wine can be bought from any Asian or Chinese grocer shop and some supermarkets. If you have trouble finding it you can replace it with a dry sherry.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

Prepare the crab… remove the crab from the freezer and lift the abdominal flap underneath, pull it to remove and discard it. Hold the bottom end of the large top shell and pull it away. Pull off and discard the gills and use your fingers to scoop out and discard any internal bits. Twist off each large claw and crack them with the back of a heavy knife. Cut the body of each crab in half with the legs attached then cut each section through the body again into 2 pieces. Dust all of the pieces lightly with half of the potato starch.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

To cook the crab claws… add the vegetable oil to a large clean wok and heat to a temperature of 170°C - 175°C over a medium heat. Add two of the claws and cook them for 2-3 minutes until they turn red, careful of spitting oil. Remove the claws and reserve, cook the remaining two claws the same way and again reserve with the remaining crab pieces. Pour the hot oil into a separate pot and allow it to cool. Mix the remaining potato starch with 2 tablespoons of the chicken stock and reserve.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

To cook the dish… wipe clean the cooled wok with paper towel and add 2 tablespoons of the cooled vegetable oil (you can discard the rest). Heat the wok over a medium heat and add the ginger, ¾ of the spring onion and the garlic. Stir-fry for a minute before adding the crab pieces and the remaining chicken stock. Add a pinch of salt flakes and give it a mix before covering with a lid and simmering the crab for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, add the reserved potato starch/stock mix and stir in well. Add the Shaoxing wine and sesame oil and heat hot.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To serve… Arrange the crab into a serving dish and cover with the sauce and the reserved sliced spring onions, sliced chilli, sesame seeds and coriander.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

* You can substitute chicken stock for vegetable stock or even shellfish stock if catering for pescatarians.

** Shaoxing wine can be bought from any Asian or Chinese grocer shop and some supermarkets. If you have trouble finding it you can replace it with a dry sherry.

Recipe Tags chilli, crab, ginger, sesame