It's blue swimmer crab season -- and I can’t wait to head to Mandurah for the annual festival celebrating this sweet crustacean.
Delicious chilli crabs. Picture: Shutterstock
While Australia is lucky enough to boast a wide range of edible crab species, for a real seafood treat try this chilli blue swimmer crab recipe.
It’s an effort to eat crabs, but totally worth it. This dish serves 3-4 people and takes about 45 minutes to make.
2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing)
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 long red chilli, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Lemon wedges, for finger bowls
If live, place the crabs in the freezer for about 1 hour to euthanise.
To clean the crabs, lift the flap on the underside and pull off the top shell.
Remove and discard the grey, spongy, finger-like gills.
Rinse the crabs quickly under cold water to get rid of any muck.
Use a heavy knife or cleaver to cut each crab in half lengthwise, then cut each half into thirds.
Use the back of the knife to crack the claws and legs to let the sauce seep in while they cook.
Place the tomato sauce, sugar, fish sauce, tamarind, rice wine and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Stir to combine.
Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat.
Add the garlic and chilli, and fry for about 30 seconds.
Add the crab pieces and give everything a bit of a mix.
Add the tomato sauce mixture and toss the crabs around to coat them well. You need to ensure that the sauce coats the crab, otherwise it won't pick up flavour.
Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove lid and shake crabs around, then replace lid and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the shells turn orange and the meat is cooked through.
Pile the crabs and sauce into a large serving bowl and scatter over the coriander
Serve with lots of napkins and small bowls of water with lemon wedges to clean sticky fingers. Love crabs and have a recipe? Then share it with us on YsPeople.