Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chilli and Garlic Caramel Crab

 Lime, chilli and garlic caramel swimmer crab with sage butter potato medallions and a radish salad with ginger vinegar

I really enjoy food that heightens the senses with acute tastes, sharp on the palette contrasted against texture. I decided to experiment today and shift my focus to seafood and Asian fusion. I wanted to use beautiful soft crab meat to pair against bitter and sweet flavours, as well as adding soft and crisp elements with salad and vegetable. The meal has three elements and is a lot easier to finish quickly if you do all of your preparation first. Start with crab element, then potato than radish – quick fast execution gives you a beautiful meal that looks and tastes equally amazing.

Serves two

For the Crab
1 medium swimmer crab
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
½ tsp fish sauce
½ lime
1 clove garlic
1 small bullet chilli

For the Potatoes
2 medium washed potatoes
3 tbsp butter
3 – 4 sage leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

For the Radish and Ginger Vinegar
3 medium radishes
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ water
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
Sprouts for plating.


Start by preparing the crab; boil in a pot for 5 - 7 minutes. While boiling, dice chilli and garlic. When done, open the torso, clean and carefully remove the meat – this can be timely, but have patience. In a pan, heat butter and add remaining ingredients. Softly stir through the crab and remove from heat shortly after to avoid over cooking the crab meat. Set aside.
Slice two potatoes length ways, and using a scalloping instrument, make medallions and set aside. I was savvy and used a metal medicine measuring cup. In a pan, heat butter and add potato. Fry evenly on each side for 3 -5 minutes until brown, adding sage and salt. Set aside.

In a pan, combine ginger, vinegar, water and sugar and bring to the boil. Cook and reduce for 7 – 10 minutes. Slice radish and when vinegar has cooled, toss radish and plate.

Plating is your creative freedom, I used snowpea sprouts to lay under the delicate crab meat, and the heads to colour the dish. You can also serve crab legs in a bowl on the side, a chance to get sticky and messy after the delicate dish; it’s all about contrast, right.

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