"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."
- 2 live mud crabs (about 1kg each), dispatched humanely (see note), scrubbed
- 60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
- 40 gm ginger, finely chopped, plus extra julienned to serve
- 30 gm garlic (about 6 cloves), crushed
- 4 spring onions, cut into batons, plus extra very thinly sliced to serve
- 2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
- 300 ml chicken stock
- 140 gm (½ cup) XO sauce (see note)
- 125 ml (½ cup) oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tsp potato starch (see note), mixed to a slurry with 50ml water
- 70 ml Shaoxing wine
- 1 tsp sesame oil, or to taste
- Coriander sprigs and steamed rice, to serve
- 1Bring 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.
- 2Heat 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.