Chilli Mud Crab

Chilli Mud Crab

Chilli Mud Crab

4 Serves 45 minutes prep 25 minutes cook


4 live mud crabs
100ml coconut oil
2 brown onions, thinly sliced
8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 long red chillies, chopped
10cm piece fresh ginger, cut into julienne
2 tbs chopped coriander root
370ml chicken stock
125ml hoi sin sauce
160ml sweet chilli sauce
250ml tomato sauce
2 tbs fish sauce
1 cup chopped green spring onion
½ cup mint leaves
½ cup coriander leave
400g cherry tomatoes, halved

180g jasmine rice, washed
250ml coconut milk
375ml water
½ tsp salt


1. To make coconut rice, place all ingredients in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff grains with a fork.
3. To prepare crabs, Break off tail flap on the underside and discard. Prise off top shell and clean of any guts. Rinse briefly (this will be the vessel to serve the sauce in).
4. Remove and discard the soft gills and stomach sac. Briefly rinse. Cut into three pieces and crack claws to allow the flavours to penetrate. Set aside.
5. Heat oil in a wok or deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, chillies, ginger and coriander root and cook until onion is soft.
6. Add the crab pieces and toss for 1 minute
7. Stir in combined stock, hoi sin, sweet chilli, tomato and fish sauces.
8. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until crab is just cooked through, tossing occasionally to ensure crab is covered in sauce.
9. Remove crab pieces and arrange in serving bowls.
10. Stir tomatoes through sauce and bring to a boil. Stir in remaining ingredients and spoon mixture into cleaned crab head shells. Place on serving plates.
11. Serve with crab pickers, finger bowls filled with warm water and lemon, and bibs.


The easiest and most humane method of killing any crustacean is to chill it in the freezer for about 30 minutes until it becomes insensible (but not long enough to freeze it). Once chilled, it should be killed promptly by splitting in half. See for more details.

This recipe has been tested.