Is there anything better than fresh seafood? It's best to go to the fish market to have a good look at everything and then decide what to get. I would often use mud crabs for this recipe but if blue swimmer crabs are available they're great too. It's a bit fiddly to eat but definitely worth it!






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (37 votes)


  • 2-4 mud crabs or blue swimmer crabs (depending on size)
  • 2 fish fillets (such as red throat emperor)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Ginger-chilli shallot sauce

  • 150 g sugar
  • 300 ml water
  • 350 ml white wine
  • 3 long red chillies, finely chopped
  • ¼ bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 100 ml sesame oil
  • 300 ml soy sauce
  • 300 ml sweet chilli sauce


  • 8 prawns, shelled, deveined, washed
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 3 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 150 g yoghurt
  • 100 g spring onions, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

Black pepper and curry leaf sauce

  • 150 g butter
  • 5 cm knob ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 tsp black pepper, roughly crushed
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  • green chilli, finely chopped
  • red chilli, finely chopped
  • curry leaves

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.


To make the ginger-chilli shallot sauce, place the sugar, water and wine in the jug of a blender. Add the chilli, onion, garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and sweet chilli sauce. Blend for 1-2 minutes.

Place the crabs and ginger-chilli shallot sauce in a pot over medium heat. Leave to cook while barbecuing the rest of the seafood.

Meanwhile, place the prawns in a bowl. Add the dried chilli, curry leaves, ginger, fish sauce, oyster sauce and green onion. Set aside until ready to cook.

To make the black pepper and curry leaf sauce, heat the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, light and dark soy sauces, oyster sauce, pepper and curry leaves. Leave to cook for around 20 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens and it is slightly caramelised.

Heat vegetable oil on a barbecue hotplate until it starts to smoke.

To prepare a curd to serve the prawns in, place the yoghurt, onion, chilli and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and stir to combine. Set aside. 

Place the prawns on one section of the hotplate. Place the fish on the barbecue.

When cooked, remove the prawns from the hotplate and toss in the yoghurt mixture.

Turn the fish and when cooked through remove fish from the barbecue.

To serve, arrange the fish on a large plate. Drizzle with the black pepper and curry leaf sauce. Serve with the prawn and crab, garnished with chilli and curry leaves.