The crab is enhanced with aromatics and served with a fennel and herb salad and lemon mayonnaise.
3 blue swimmer crabs, uncooked
1 stalk lemongrass
2 3cm knobs ginger, peeled and sliced
1/2 bunch coriander, washed
1/2 bunch basil leaves, washed
For the mayonnaise
2 egg yolks
2 tsp white wine vinegar
200mL grapeseed oil
100mL extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp cold water
For the salad
1 fennel bulb, washed and thinly sliced
2 tbsp picked chervil
1 head radicchio, washed and torn into small pieces
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin
Juice of 1 lemon
Remove the outer shells of the crabs and then the feathery gills. Using a heavy knife, cut the crabs in half through the middle. Cut the lemongrass in half lengthways and use a rolling pin or other heavy implement to bruise it and help release the flavours.
Add lemongrass, ginger, coriander and basil to a large steamer over a pot of boiling water, put in crabs and cover with a lid. Steam for 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the crabs. Check the meat is cooked in the centre and remove to a serving plate.
For the mayonnaise: Whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar and a pinch of salt, then gradually add the two oils in a fine steady stream, whisking all the while. Add 1 tsp cold water and whisk until combined. Season with extra salt if necessary and store in the fridge until needed.
For the salad: Toss fennel, chervil and radicchio together. Season with salt and pepper and dress with the olive oil and lemon juice.
Serve crab immediately or chilled, with a little mayonnaise, salad and finger bowls.