Phillip Searle

Steamed blue swimmer crab with tamarind and "angels' hair"

serves 8


1 large fresh blue swimmer crab per person
1 x 200g packet of dried tamarind
250g chopped palm sugar
dash fish sauce
1 tspn cracked black pepper
250g snow peas cut into long thin strips (julienne)
finely shredded mint or rau raum
1 large leek per person cut into fine julienne


Shell the crabs and keep the meat from each crab separate.

Roughly pound the shells and make a stock with ginger and spring onions.

train and reduce.

Break the tamarind up in a litre of water and simmer over a low heat for about an hour. Add the palm sugar to dissolve it.

Strain through a fine sieve to extract all the juice.

Reserve juice or reduce.

"Angels Hair"

Salt the leek juliennes, allowing 1 level tspn of salt per leek.

Leave 6 hours.

Wash them twice in copious quantities of cold water.

Thoroughly squeeze all the water from them to dry them as much as possible.

'Tease' them out and deep fry in batches (peanut oil).

Keeping them gold (they continue to darken when removed from oil) rest on absorbent paper.

Keep warm.

Take 8 dariole moulds, oil them with leek oil and pack the crab meat into them.

Spoon 1 dsrtspn of crab stock and 1 tspn of tamarind liquid into each.

Smooth the top with black pepper.

Add dash of fish sauce.

xLoosely cover with foil.

Have ready a braising pan with a tight fitting lid with 1cm of rapidly boiling water in the bottom.

Place the moulds into the pan and cook over highest possible heat for 4 minutes.

Dislodge foil and pile snow pea juliennes on top. Cook a further 2 minutes.

Rest 1 minute.

Run a knife around inner edge of each mould and gently turn onto serving plates.

Sprinkle mint on top.

Pile on the angel's hair.

Steamed blue swimmer crab with tamarind and "angels' hair"