I was lucky enough to do some research on ways to minimise the catch of undersize mud crabs in the NT and one of the perks of the job was bringing a swag of Mud Crabs (or ‘Muddies’) home for the pot. Having no idea how to cook the vicious critters I asked my old friend Google for some advice and was so happy with the results that I’d like to share them here.
So this recipe is from Pete Evans and all credit for any flavour sensations that result should be directed to this chef. I should also confess that I’m as weak as light beer when it comes to anything remotely spicy and a good dose of pepper is even enough to have me frantically searching out dairy products to ease the pain. The beauty with this recipe is that you can hold off on the hot stuff and still achieve splendid results without recreating Johnny Cash’s ‘Ring of Fire’ 🙂
If you can’t get hold of crabs you can substitute them with Lobster, Moreton Bay Bugs and even prawns. We are passionate about respecting our catch here on this blog so we’d strongly encourage you to make sure that you kill your quarry before you crack its shell and throw it into hot oil. After all, bad fishing karma is very unattractive to the serious fisherman!
- 2 Mud Crabs or 3 – 4 Blue Swimmer Crabs
- 3 tablespoons Oil
- 4 chopped Garlic Cloves
- 2 chopped Chilli’s
- 2 tablespoons julienne Ginger
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup chilli sauce or Sweet Chilli Sauce
- ½ cup Water
- 3 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
- ½ cup chopped green onion
- ½ cup mixed Vietnamese mint leaves and coriander leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped Coriander root
- 1 tablespoon Fish sauce
- 3 teaspoons Sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 30 Cherry Tomatoes cut in half (I also roasted mine in the oven with olive oil for that fancy touch)
- Freeze the crabs until they are killed
- Cut into segments
- Crack the claws
- Heat oil in a wok
- Add garlic, chilli, ginger & coriander root and cook until fragrant
- Add the crabs and toss
- Add tomato sauce, chilli sauce, water, hoi sin sauce, fish sauce, sugar and salt.
- Stir to combine the ingredients, bring to the boil.
- Cover and allow to simmer/steam for about 10 minutes
- Add in the green onions, cherry tomatoes and herbs and serve with Jasmine rice, and crab pickers and bibs
Hopefully this recipe works for you readers and a final word of advice: this definitely isn’t first date food – crab chunks will most likely fly into the face of your partner if you go overboard with the shell cracking.
Dan – August 2011