Chef's Recipes

Crab omelette

Phil Wood recipe for crab omelette from Rockpool, Sydney for Gourmet Institute.

By Phil Wood
  • 45 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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Crab omelette


  • 2 uncooked blue swimmer crabs (about 350gm each)
  • 100 ml grapeseed oil, plus extra for wiping pan
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 cup coriander, leaves reserved separately from stems and roots, roots scraped
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) dry white wine
  • 150 gm butter, diced
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 12 eggs
  • 2 long red chillies, thinly sliced diagonally


  • 1
    To prepare crabs, remove and discard tail flap, remove top shell (reserve), and remove and discard gills (“dead man’s fingers”). Crack legs and remove meat from legs and body. Reserve meat and shells separately.
  • 2
    Place a large casserole over high heat, add oil and crab shells and cook, stirring occasionally, until red and fragrant (3-5 minutes). Add tomato paste, ground coriander and sugar and stir to combine. Add coriander stems and roots and stir until fragrant (2 minutes). Add white wine and boil until almost evaporated (6-8 minutes), then add 1 litre water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer until infused (20 minutes). Strain stock into a clean saucepan (discard solids) and reduce over high heat to about 150ml (25-30 minutes). Reduce heat to very low and slowly whisk in butter, being careful not to break the emulsion. Add crab meat, season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and leave on heat until crab is just cooked (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat and keep warm.
  • 3
    Break 4 eggs into each of 3 separate bowls, season to taste and whisk each batch until very well combined.
  • 4
    Heat a large non-stick frying pan (about 23cm diameter) over medium heat, wipe pan with extra oil and add a batch of eggs. Using a firm rubber spatula, scrape the eggs from the outside of the pan towards the centre, swirling the pan so the egg coats the base. Continue until eggs are just set but still a little runny (2-3 minutes). Tilt pan and carefully roll omelette into a cylinder and out of the pan onto a cutting board. Keep warm. Repeat until you have 3 large omelettes.
  • 5
    Pour a little crab sauce into the centre of warmed serving plates. Halve each omelette and place on sauce. Top with crab meat and remaining sauce, scatter with coriander leaves and chilli and serve hot.