How to cook Blue Swimmer crabs and recipes

How to cook crabs - recipes for Blue Swimmer crabs

After you have had all that fun and excitement of catching your blue swimmer crabs, it is time to cook them up. It is important to keep the crabs alive up to this point and they are best cooked on the same day. It is also handy if you can bring some fresh salt water up with you from the beach when you come in or if not, you will need to add salt to the water for cooking.

You can put the crabs on ice or in the freezer for 20 minutes and this will send them dormant before cooking. There are many ways to cook crabs, but the most popular way is to boil them. When you are ready to cook, bring a large pot of salt water to a rapid boil and using tongs, place the crabs, one at a time in the salty water ensuring they are all submerged. Cover and bring the water back to the boil. Once the water has come back to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 6 minutes for medium sized crabs.

When cooked, your crabs will be bright red in colour and ready to take out of the boiling water. Using tongs, place them straight into some icy cold water to cool and stop the cooking process instantly and prevent them from overcooking.

When cooled completely, you can put your crabs in the fridge and they will keep for a few days if you can wait that long or you can dig in and start the fiddley process of peeling the crabs.

Preparing crabs

To peel the crabs, start by pulling back and removing the triangle shape piece of shell on the underside of the crab. You can then turn the crab over and remove the top shell and the gills inside. Wash the crab thoroughly of all the intestines and your crab is ready to eat.

To serve on a platter, hold the cleaned crab body and place both thumbs on the crabs belly and break the crab in half. You can serve the crabs like this to your friends and family. Use some newspaper as a tablecloth and do not sit too close to each other. It can be messy.

To get all the meat out of the shells can be a bit tricky but start by removing the legs and claws by twisting them off.

You can then twist the legs with your fingers to break them open and pull or squeeze the meat out. There is a good amount of meat inside the claws and by pulling the claw apart at the joint you may be able to pull this meat out also.

Any sections that you cannot break with your fingers, you may need to tap gently with a small hammer or you can use a nut cracker, but be careful not to crack them too hard for you will get bits of shell in the meat.

You can then continue to crack apart and pick through the rest of the shell. You can use the tip of a claw as a tool to help pick small fiddly bits of meat out.

Blue Swimmer crab meat is sweet and delicious, and you can enjoy on its own, with a squeeze of lemon, some dipping sauce or on some fresh bread.

If you have any left, there are may recipes you can make with fresh crab meat.

Easy Crab Dip

For this recipe you need:

  • 400g fresh crab meat
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 250g cocktail sauce

Step 1 Combine crab meat, cream cheese, and cocktail sauce in a small bowl

Step 2 Cover bowl and refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving with bread or crackers


Sweet chilli crab on cucumber

You only need four ingredients for this easy canape, including some good quality fresh crab meat.

For this dish you will need:

  • 1/2  cucumber
  • 200g fresh crabmeat
  • 1-2 tbs sweet chilli sauce, to taste
  • 1 tbs coriander leaves, torn if large, plus extra small leaves to garnish

Step 1 Cut cucumber into 12 thick rounds.

Step 2 Lightly toss crab with chilli sauce and coriander.

Step 3 Season, then pile onto cucumber rounds.

Step 4 Garnish with extra coriander and serve.


Crab Omelette

For this recipe you will need:

  • 80 grams fresh cooked crabmeat
  • 1 long red chilli halved, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut or olive oil
  • 4 spring onions thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup snow pea sprouts
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • Sriracha sauce to taste

Step 1 Deseed the chilli and finely chop half the chilli and add to a hot pan with a little oil and the white ends of the spring onions and the ginger.

Step 2 Cook until the spring onions and the ginger are translucent and add to the crab meat in a small bowl and stir.

Step 3 Lightly beat the eggs until yolks are broken and mix in the soy and fish sauce.

Step 4 Prepare your garnish. Thinly slice the remaining chilli into strips. Pick a small handful of coriander leaves. Wash and drain the snow pea sprouts.

Step 5 Over medium-high heat add the rest of the oil and the butter to an omelette pan. When it is hot, add the egg mixture and leave it for 15 seconds to start to set a little. With a spatula, begin pushing the cooked egg towards the centre of the pan and additionally swirl the pan to get the unset eggs to cook. Run the spatula around the rim of the pan to stop it from sticking.

Step 6 When the omelette is becoming firm and there is only a little liquid on the surface of the omelette add the crab mixture to the centre of the omelette. Using the spatula, fold one side of the omelette to just over centre of the pan, followed by the other side. This will be the bottom of the omelette.

Step 7 Take the pan off the heat and turn the omelette over onto a plate.

Step 8 Drizzle with the oyster sauce and Sriracha, followed by the snow pea sprouts, the chilli strips and the coriander.


Crabby Patties

For this recipe you will need:

  • 750g (about 4) potatoes, cooked, mashed, cooled
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 500g cooked crabmeat
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves to serve
  • 1 cup (300g) whole-egg mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
  • Sunflower oil, to shallow fry
  • Lemon wedges to serve

Step 1 Combine potato, onion, mustard, lemon zest and juice, flour, crabmeat, egg and 2 tablespoons parsley, then season well. Form into 8 small patties, then chill for 15 minutes to firm up.

Step 2 Meanwhile, combine mayonnaise, dill and remaining 1 tablespoon parsley in a small bowl. Season to taste, then chill until needed.

Step 3 Heat 2cm oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Fry crab cakes for 1-2 minutes each side until crisp and golden. Garnish with parsley and serve with lemon wedges and dill mayonnaise.


Crab & Chilli Linguine

For this recipe you will need:

  • 500g Linguine pasta
  • 200g can diced tomatoes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch parsley, the stalks sliced finely, leaves roughly chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 30mls olive oil
  • 300g Blue Swimmer crab meat
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small chill, diced

Step 1 Cook the pasta following the directions on the back of the packet.

Step 2 In fry pan on a medium heat add the oil, once that is up to temperature add the chilli, garlic, and parsley stalks.

Step 3 Fry gently for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and cook until reduced and sauce is thicker and darker.

Step 4 Now add the crab meat, gently folding it through the sauce

Step 5 Add the cooked and drained pasta directly to the fry pan taking some of the pasta water with it. Mix through the sauce and make sure it is well combined.

Step 6 To finish add the chopped parsley and mix through. Serve topped with grated lemon zest.


Crab & capsicum linguine

For this recipe you will need:

  • 350g linguine, bucatini or other long pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 red capsicums, thinly sliced
  • 2 long red chillies, seeds removed, roughly chopped
  • 300g cooked fresh crabmeat
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves.

Step 1 Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup (60ml) water.

Step 2 Heat oil in a large, deep frypan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and capsicum and stir for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Step 3 Stir in chilli, crab and juice, and season. Add pasta, reserved water and parsley, then toss well.
Step 4 Serve immediately.