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Peter Gilmore's manna crab recipe

Peter Gilmore's Blue Manna Crab, pin striped peanuts, fresh bamboo and umami broth

Preparation time
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2 x 1kg blue manna or blue swimmer crabs
80 fresh pin striped peanuts or dried red skinned peanuts
2 fresh New Guinea Green (nastus elatus) bamboo or pre-prepared bamboo shoots
½ tsp finely ground campot pepper

Simple umami broth
80ml grapeseed oil
2 bunches Asian style spring onions (white part only) finely sliced
2 sticks white celery, diced
200g squid trimmings or fresh squid tubes
50g sea scallops
2 kg chicken wings
200ml dry sake
2 litres fresh chicken stock
2 litres water
30g dried shiitake mushrooms, broken up
10cm square piece dried kombu seaweed
Salt to taste


1. To make the umami broth, place the grapeseed oil into a medium to large pot approximately 8 to 10 litres. Over a medium heat, sweat off the spring onions, celery, squid, scallops and chicken wings. Once lightly coloured, add the sake, once the sake has almost completely evaporated, add the chicken stock, water and dried mushrooms. Simmer on a medium to low heat just ticking over for 3 hours. Remove from the heat and add the sheet of kombu. Allow the stock to sit for 1 further hour off the heat. Remove any fat from the top of the stock with a ladle and strain the stock through a fine sieve, discard the solids and place the stock into a clean saucepan and reduce over a high heat until you have 750ml of broth left. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.

2. De-shell the peanuts and put aside. If you are using dried peanuts, leave the red skin on for colour. Split the bamboo shoots in half, peel away the layers to expose only the tender inner core. Slice the core halves into at least 10 thin slices, put aside.

3. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil. If your crabs are alive, humanely dispatch them by placing them into the freezer for 30 minutes and then immediately place the crabs into
the boiling water. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook the crabs for approximately 5 minutes. Refresh the crabs in iced water then crack the shells and remove all the white meat from the claws, legs and body. The meat should be ¾ cooked at this stage, it will finish cooking in the hot umami broth.

To serve

1. Arrange the crab meat in 8 separate warmed bowls. Bring the umami broth back to the boil, add the pepper, bamboo and peanuts. Cook for a further 10 seconds. Using a perforated spoon, remove the bamboo and peanuts. Arrange the bamboo and peanuts around the crab and pour over a ladle of very hot broth over each dish. Optional garnish – carrot flowers or another edible flower and serve.

Wine match: Sauvignon Blanc

Photography: Brett Stevens, Styling: Emmaly Stewart


Preparation time
Cooking time