Paddock To Plate

Matt Moran explores the vast Kimberley Region of Western Australia, and cooks mud crab with an Aboriginal guide.


  • 1 x 1kg live mud crab

  • 100 ml peanut oil

  • 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 long red chilli, de-seeded and thinly sliced

  • 2 tbsp whole black peppercorns

  • 80 ml (1/3 cup) soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 1 tsp castor sugar

  • 50 gm butter 

  • 6 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally

  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves picked, to serve


  • 1.

    Place the mud crab into an ice slurry for 20 minutes to put to sleep. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the crab and par-cook for 5 minutes. Remove the crab from the pan and return to the ice slurry to stop the cooking process, then drain.

  • 2.

    Place the crab on a work surface, break off the claws, then using the back of a chefs knife, firmly tap to crack the shells, but leave the claws intact. Refrigerate until required. Insert the tip of a chef’s knife between the two shells, twist the knife until shells pop apart, then remove the top shell. Rinse the top shell and set aside to use for garnish. Pull out the mustard and the gills from the body of the crab and discard, then cut the crab into quarters through the body and set aside.

  • 3.

    Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat until smoking, then add the garlic, chilli and black peppercorns, sauté until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic (30 seconds), then stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and 300ml water. Bring to the boil, return the crab pieces to the wok and simmer until the meat releases itself from the shell and the sauce thickens and coats the crab (5-6 minutes).  Throw in half the spring onion and the butter and stir while the butter melts.

  • 4.

    Arrange the crab pieces on a large plate and spoon over the sauce, scatter over the coriander and remaining spring onion, place crab shell on top and serve.

Nutritional information

Nutritional analysis per serving (2 servings)

  • Energy 723kj
  • Fat Total 69g
  • Saturated Fat 21g
  • Protein 10g
  • Carbohydrate 25g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Sodium 2910mg

Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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