• (Andy and Ben Eat Australia, Food Network)

Prepare to get your hands dirty when making this finger-licking mud crab dish. Building on classic Asian ingredients including fresh herbs, citrus, sugar and fish sauce, it's a feast for the eyes and mouth.






Skill level

Average: 3.8 (14 votes)


  • 2 whole live mud crabs
  • 1 young coconut
  • Drizzle of vegetable oil
  • 1 long red red chili, thinly sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into julienne
  • ½ bunch coriander roots
  • 30 g palm sugar, shaved
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 10 makrut lime leaves
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic shoots


  • 1 green mango, peeled and cut into julienne
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
  • 6 sugar snap peas
  • 1 Nashi pear, thinly sliced


  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 5 g palm sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Pull the top shells off the crabs, then remove and discard the gills. Using a cleaver or large sharp knife, cut the crab into large pieces.  

Using a cleaver, hold the coconut over a bowl, then crack open and reserve the coconut water. Run a metal spoon between the shell and the flesh of half the coconut. Reserve the remaining coconut half for another use.

Heat a drizzle of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the chilli, onion, ginger, coriander root, tomatoes, palm sugar, lime, leaves, tamarind and sweet soy sauce. Stir to combine well, then simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the fish sauce and lime juice. Add the crab, toss to coat well, then simmer for another 7 minutes or until just cooked through. Lastly, stir through 60 ml (¼ cup) reserved coconut water and the garlic shoots, then remove from the heat.

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Coarsely chop the reserved coconut flesh and add to the bowl. Whisk the salad dressing ingredients in a bowl, pour over the salad and gently toss through. Serve with the chilli mud crab.