MercyCare / News / Flavours of MercyCare: Chilli Crab

Flavours of MercyCare: Chilli Crab

“We can’t get it all the time due to the changing of the seasons and must allow the crabs to breed, but when the time is right, we go out and get it,” says proud Yawuru and Karrajarri woman Patty Mamid.
She says food is a way of getting everyone together, no matter whether it be in the house around the dining table, or camping around the camp fire.
“Eating chilli crab is very messy. There are a lot of cracking of claws, splatter of sauce over our lips and cheeks and the don’t forget the fighting over who’s going to eat the biggest claw.”

Ingredients 1
¼ cup sesame oil
Fresh ginger – grated
Fresh garlic – finely chopped
2 brown onions – sliced
Coriander roots chopped
Fresh chilli (how much and type of
chilli up to you) – sliced
1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp powdered chicken stock
2-4 fresh caught large mud crabs – cleaned and gutted, cut in sections, crack claw shell.
Note: Mud crabs can be substituted with mussels, Blue Manna crabs, fried fish or prawns.

Ingredients 2
1 cup tamarind pulp
2 cups sweet chilli sauce
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sweet soy sauce
1 cup tomato paste
4 tins tomato crushed
1 cup water
1/2 cup honey or brown sugar – I use bush honey

Ingredients 3
Coriander leaves roughly chopped
Spring onion sliced


  1. Cook your rice first.
  2. Heat sesame oil in wok. Add all ingredients listed in ‘Ingredients 1’. Add more oil if needed. Fry until onions cooked.
  3. Add prepared mud crab, fry on both sides until semi cooked. Once crab semi-cooked then take out of wok and put aside.
  4. Add all ‘Ingredients 2’ to heated wok. Stir until all mixed through and simmering. Taste test and see if you like to add something more (eg. chilli, sugar etc). You want sauce to be thick and caramelised.
  5. Once sauce is a simmering thick consistency, then add the semicooked crab into the sauce. Make sure sauce is covering the crab. Cook until crab seems to be fully cooked by shell turning bright orange.
  6. Turn off heat and sprinkle spring onion and coriander leaves.
  7. Ready to eat with fluffy rice.