Mud crabs are cheap and in season
Call me crazy, but I actually prefer mud crabs over lobsters. Yes there is less meat, but I find the meat is alot sweeter. Another plus is that they are considerebly cheaper especially at this time of year. I popped down to my local fish monger and these male crabs were going for only $28/kg, with female ones going for $33/kg. Depending on what I do with them , I prefer the male crabs if I’m having it chilli style with lots of sauce. But if I’m having it with noodles I definately prefer the roe in the female crabs.
I purchased three crabs which easily fed six people. I decided to make two versions with the three crabs I bought. One would be my favourite, chilli style with plenty of sauce. The second would be the usual ginger and shallots style with vermicelli noodles (I’ll post about this one later). My Mum use to avoid cooking crabs because our stove wasn’t hot enough, but ever since we got this new gas stove there is no excuse!
In terms of recipes, there are so many variations of chilli mud crab on the interwebs. I loosely based mine on this one. I think it’s best to experiment with what you think is right for your taste buds, especially if copious amounts of chilli is not your cup of tea. I modified a few things and added fish sauce, Sriracha chilli sauce and got rid of the sugar because I thought the tomato and sweet chilli sauce was going to add enough sweetness.
Chilli mud crab (Adapted from chezannies)
- 2 mud crabs (2kg in total)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
- A couple squirts of Sriracha chilli sauce
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 1-1/2 inch ginger, chopped fine
- 2 shallots, sliced thinly
- 1 large tomato
- 2-3 chilli’s
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- Shallots and coriander for garnish
1. There are a few ways to killing a crab. You can freeze them until they are killed, or if you don’t have time then stick a knife or chopstick into it’s chest. I’ll leave the choice upto you
2. Prepare the crabs by cleaning them thoroughly, then cut them into four or five parts and crack the claws. There is no right or wrong way of doing this, just make sure it’s not demolished into a heap of goo.
2. Heat up the wok and while this is happening create the sauce by mixing tomato, sweet chilli and chilli sauce, cornstarch, chicken stock, water (optional), fish sauce
3. Add the oil, garlic, chilli and ginger to the wok and cook till fragant and brown
4. Add the crabs and toss them around the wok briefly
5. Add the sauce and toss the crabs around the sauce and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling cover the wok and let everything simmer for around 10-15 minutes.
6. Once this is done, if the crabs are bright orange then you are done. Pour the eggs into the wok and toss everything around until the eggs are cooked.
7. Check out that sauce, how yummy does it look ? Your done! Plate it all up and garnish with spring onions.
I like to eat mine with crusty hot bread, it does a great job of soaking up all the sauce. I could eat this sauce by itself even without the crab.