Chefs' Recipes

Dan Hong’s mud crab with XO sauce

Dan Hong shares his recipe for a stunning main course of crab stir-fried with Chinese flavours such as ginger, spring onion and XO sauce.
Mud crab with XO sauce recipe by Dan HongBen Dearnley
4 - 6
1H 30M

“Nothing’s better than getting your hands dirty eating beautiful Aussie mud crab and licking your fingers in the summer, especially at Christmas,” says Dan Hong, executive chef at Merivale’s The Establishment. “Any leftover sauce can be eaten on top of noodles or rice, or with bread.”



1.Bring a large saucepan of heavily salted water to the boil, drop in crabs, cover and boil until cooked through (15-20 minutes; pull a claw free and if the meat is still translucent, cook it a little longer). Drain and cool briefly (10 minutes), then lift flap underneath the crab and pull off back shell. Discard gills and clean out yellow-brown tomalley. Cut crabs into quarters with a large sharp knife, then crack claws with the back of a knife.
2.Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add ginger, garlic, spring onion and chilli and stir-fry until fragrant (1 minute). Stir in chicken stock, XO sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and potato-starch slurry. Add crab, turn to coat in sauce, bring to the boil and cover with a lid. Cook until crab is warmed through and sauce is thickened (6-8 minutes), then add Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. Transfer to a platter, top with julienned ginger and spring onion, and coriander, and serve with steamed rice.

XO sauce and potato starch are available from Asian grocers. Drink suggestion: Bottle-aged Eden Valley riesling. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.

To humanely dispatch a live crab, the RSPCA recommends using an ice water slurry to render the crab insensible. Once insensible, it is recommended to put the crab on its back, lift the wear tail flap, and insert a pointed spike such as an awl or sharp-pointed knife to sever the rear nerve centre. Repeat this process with the front nerve centre. Insert the spike through the shallow depression at the front of the body to sever the front nerve centre.


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