The mud crab
is delicious. Mudcrabs have moist meat and a distinct, sweet flavour. Here are
some recipes and how to videos for preparing and cooking mud crabs
are also swimmer Crabs, are found mainly on the muddy bottoms of shallow coastal
mangroves. A number of closely related Mud Crabs, are differentiated by colour,
but the Giant Mud Crab (Scylla serrata), with its dark blue-green to mottled
brown shell, is by far the major species in Australia. Most common in
Queensland, where only the males are caught, they are available year round.
Supply peaks from January to April in Queensland and NSW and from May to August
in the NT.
have large front legs and developed claws and generally weigh 500g-1kg. They’re mostly sold live (as they can live out of water for days) but are
also available cooked. It is best not to buy dead uncooked Mud Crabs as it’s
difficult to determine their quality. They yield about 25% meat, largely from
the front claws, and are high priced with sweet flesh that has a slightly
stronger flavour and firmer texture than that of other Crabs.
The mud crab is one of the best crustaceans you can eat.
Its moist meat, mostly found in the body and claws, has a marvelous distinct and
The mud crab is one of the best seafoods for presentation, with graceful legs
and ornate claws that can be kept whole and used as a garnish. A crab claw
protruding from a bowl of hearty mud crab bisque can be very appealing to the
One of the best cooking methods is to steam, boil or poach mud crabs in salted
water (25 g of salt per litre), then season with lemon, black pepper, garlic and
onion. The crab can be finished off for the final dish by a variety of methods
including barbecuing or pan-frying. Be careful not to overcook the crab in the
initial stages, when adding a little vinegar will make the meat easier to
Mud crab is delicious in soups and bisques, or as a filling for seafood
tortellini. In a salad, dress with light vinaigrettes using flavoured oils such
as walnut, and cascade the flesh over a mound of curly endive with a selection
of citrus fruits. Mud crab can also be served whole on a platter, often feeding
a number of people.
Never put live crabs directly into boiling water or the meat will toughen and
the legs or claws may fall off. The most humane way to kill the crab is to put
it to sleep in the freezer for about one hour before cooking.
Mud crabs are mostly sold live due to their ability to
survive out of water for days. Live mud crabs are tied with a cord and should be
handled with care if released as the powerful claws can inflict serious injury.
How to humanely kill a Crab for cooking:
It is recommended that all crustaceans are immersed in a salt water/ice slurry
for a minimum of 20 minutes before boiling, broiling, pithing or cutting. This
ensures the animal is immobilised before procedures that may cause pain are
The salt water/ice slurry is made by first filling a suitable container (such as
an esky) with normal crushed ice, then adding salt water (sea water salinity).
The ratio of normal ice to salt water should be 3:1, which will give the
consistency of wet concrete and a temperature of –1°C. It is important that
enough ice is provided to maintain the temperature of the slurry.
For live crabs allow 10 minutes per 500g to cook. Steam or boil
in salted water.
For every 100 grams raw product
for Crab meat.
31% of total
31% of total
38% of total
Video on How to
prepare live Mud Crabs for cooking
Sydney Fish Market takes you through what to look for
when purchasing live Mud Crabs and how to prepare them for
cooking. How to pick them up, selecting a mud crab, how to
humanely kill a live mud crab, telling the difference
between male & female crabs, storing Mud Crabs: