Steamed Mud Crabs, with Ginger, Chilli and Shallot Sauce - Chef Recipe by Peter Kuruvita

Steamed Mud Crabs, with Ginger, Chilli and Shallot Sauce - Chef Recipe by Peter Kuruvita


"This is a dish I created back in the ‘90s after a trip to Singapore. I was a bit disappointed with the Singapore chilli crab – not that It wasn't nice, but it wasn't what I expected. On returning home I went into my kitchen and just reached for ingredients available in my pantry and wrote down the measurements as I went along. The result is very much like me – a little bit of flavour from around the world." – Peter Kuruvita.

1 live Tin Can Bay mud crab, about 1kg, chopped
Coriander leaves to serve

Ginger, chilli and shallot sauce:

2-3 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
2cm knob ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, including roots, well rinsed
250mL (1 cup) light soy sauce
250mL (1 cup) mirin
125mL (1/2 cup) white wine
75mL sesame oil
190mL sweet chilli sauce
2-3 garlic cloves
4 spring onions, coarsely chopped


Ginger, chilli and shallot sauce:

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Place crab pieces into a large, heavy-based saucepan and pour the sauce over the top. Cover and cook over a high heat until the sauce comes to the boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes, keeping the pan covered.

To see if the crab is cooked, remove the lid and look for the tell-tale white droplets of protein being squeezed out of the shell, especially the claws.

Scatter immediately with coriander and serve with crab crackers, pickers and finger bowls of warm water and lemon.


To ensure you get a full mud crab, choose a live, heavy crab. I find the ones with brown bellies are always full.

Please ensure the crab is killed humanely and the best way to do that is to place them in the freezer for 30 minutes, before dissecting them.

Remove the head, clean the gills and guts, without washing them in water, simply shake them out. Cut the body of the crab into 6 pieces, 3 each half and gently crack all the claws.

If you can’t find Tin Can Bay mud crabs, use the freshest mud crabs you can find.

Photo Credits: Photography Dan Freene

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