• Mud crab, white asparagus, pin striped peanut salad (Ben Ward)Source: Ben Ward

This impressive-looking salad, topped with matchsticks of asparagus, brings together a small but mighty list of ingredients. A delicate balance of lemon and creme fraiche enhances the sweetness of the mud crab.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (22 votes)


  • 1 green mud crab, about 1 kg
  • 1 whole unwaxed lemon
  • 2 bunches thick white asparagus
  • 100 g crème fraiche
  • 40 shelled pin-striped peanuts
  • 20 linaria flowers, or other edible small white flowers
  • 30 ml grapeseed oil
  • sea salt, to taste

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.


1. Place the live mud crab into a bucket filled with water and plenty of ice for 15 minutes. This will send the crab into a coma, which is a more humane way of treating it. Remove the crab from the ice bath, then place in a steamer and cook over high heat for 15 minutes or until just cooked. Remove from the heat, stand until cool, then crack the crab into pieces and remove the meat. Refrigerate until required.

2. Meanwhile, place the lemon in a saucepan, cover well with cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, changing the water 3 times during this process to reduce the bitterness. Drain the lemon, cut in half and remove the seeds. Place the skin and flesh into a small food processor and blend until smooth. Pass the lemon puree through a fine sieve, then transfer to a small container and refrigerate until cold.

3. Peel the asparagus and cut into matchstick-sized pieces. Add to a saucepan of boiling water and blanche for 10 seconds, then drain, refresh in iced water and drain again.

4. To assemble, weigh out 100 g of the lemon puree into a bowl. Add the crème fraiche and stir until well combined.

5. Place the mud crab meat into a bowl, drizzle with a little grapeseed oil and season to taste with sea salt. Place a small spoonful of the lemon cream in the middle of each plate. Begin to stack the mud crab and asparagus matchsticks on top, then place on another spoonful of the lemon cream and continue to stack up the mud crab and asparagus. Garnish with the pinstriped peanuts and linaria flowers and serve.


Palisa Anderson and guests explore food memories and cross-cultural connection during Palisa Anderson's Water Heart Food.