Chef's Recipes

Blue swimmer crab, almond and preserved apple

Ryan Squires recipe for blue swimmer crab, almond and preserved apple from Esquire, Brisbane for Gourmet Institute.

By Ryan Squires
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 4 hrs 30 mins cooking plus cooling, drying
  • Serves 4
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Blue swimmer crab, almond and preserved apple


  • 4 large uncooked blue swimmer crabs (400gm each) or 200gm freshly cooked crab meat
  • 250 gm white sugar
  • 2 tsp citric acid
  • 1 pink lady apple
  • To serve: sheep sorrel or French sorrel (see note)
Almond milk
  • 250 gm blanched almonds


  • 1
    Preheat a steamer oven to 100% steam (or set a steamer basket over a saucepan of boiling water and bring to full steam). Clean crabs by removing top shell, then removing gills (“dead man’s fingers”) and brown meat. Split each crab into 4 and crack large claws for even cooking. Steam crabs until just cooked through (10-12 minutes). Cool immediately in freezer (30-40 minutes), but do not allow to freeze. Pick crab meat from shells, placing it in a bowl over ice as you go. Be sure not to waste any of the sweet leg meat. Refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    Combine sugar, citric acid and 500ml water in a small rondeau or small shallow-sided saucepan and stir over low heat to dissolve sugar. Peel quarter and core apple, and add to sugar solution, cover with a piece of baking paper and weight with a small plate to keep apple submerged. Poach over low heat at 70C-80C until apple is tender and almost falling apart (3-4 hours). Remove from syrup and dry in full sun until semi-dry (3-4 hours).
  • 3
    For almond milk, preheat oven to 180C. Roast 50gm almonds on a baking tray until light golden (8-10 minutes). Cool slightly, then blend with remaining almonds and 250ml water to a smooth purée. Wet a clean tea towel, wring it dry, place almond pulp in tea towel and squeeze liquid into a bowl over ice (discard solids). You should yield about 150ml thick milk. Refrigerate to chill (30-40 minutes).
  • 4
    Scatter cold crab in serving bowls or on plates and drizzle with almond milk (about 2 tbsp per portion). Cut apples into 1cm dice and place 5 pieces around each plate on top of crab. Scatter with sorrel and serve.


Note Ryan Squires uses sheep sorrel, but you can substitute French sorrel, which is available from plant nurseries.