Mexican Chilli Crab
by Peter Kuruvita
6 blue swimmer crabs, cleaned and cut into 4 pieces or 1 x 1.5 kg mud crab, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces
100 ml vegetable oil
200 ml fish stock
50 ml vegetable oil
½ white onion, minced
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 avocado leaves (see Note)
6 black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
8 guajillo chillies, stemmed, seeded and lightly toasted
4 tomatillos, roasted
1 habanero chilli (seeds optional)
⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves
2 limes, juiced
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 25 minutes
To make the chilli paste, heat a 25 cm frying pan over medium and add the vegetable oil. Add the onion and garlic. Fry gently for 3-4 minutes or until translucent. Remove and place in a blender. Wipe out frying pan with paper towel.
Add remaining chilli paste ingredients to the blender and blend for 2 minutes or until smooth.
Add another 50 ml of oil to the frying pan and heat over medium. Add the paste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Remove from the pan and reserve.
Add 50 ml of oil to a 35 cm heavy-based saucepan or large wok. When oil starts smoking, carefully add the crab. Toss or stir until the colour changes, then add the paste and stock. Cover with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
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