Hermit Crab, Fermented Chilli & Bean Blossoms

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves /

    8

Appears in

Organum

By Peter Gilmore

Published 2014

  • About

This is a new ingredient that Wayne Hulme and I have been working on recently. Deep-sea hermit crabs are incredibly delicious. The tail meat of a hermit crab has flavour and texture somewhere between lobster and crab and is similar in size to a langoustine or king prawn. The hermit crabs you can find on the beach are far too small to consider using, but these deep-sea hermit crabs are quite large. They are bycatch in crayfish pots and are normally thrown back into the sea, as there is currently no official market for them. The challenge is convincing crayfishermen to go to the trouble of processing these hermit crabs when they can get such high prices for crayfish. Wayne and I are working with couple of crayfishermen to look at catching these hermit crabs in their off season. Some work also needs to be done on establishing the available stocks of hermit crabs but anecdotal evidence suggests they are plentiful.

To Finish

  • 100 g ( oz) clarified butter
  • 24 hermit crab tails
  • fine sea salt
  • 50 g ( oz) bean sprouts, topped and tailed
  • 50 g ( oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 120 bean blossoms

Put the clarified butter in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Season the hermit crab tail meat with fine sea salt and pan-fry for 1 minute on each side. Drain the hermit crab meat on paper towel and keep warm until ready to plate.

Blanch the bean sprouts in boiling salted water for 30 seconds. Dress with half of the melted unsalted butter. Season with sea salt and drain on paper towel.

Blanch the bean blossoms in boiling salted water for 5 seconds, remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel then dress with the remaining melted butter and season with sea salt.

To Plate

Place half a tablespoon of fermented chilli paste in the centre of each warmed serving plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon. Lay 3 pan-fried hermit crab tails over the paste, top with a small bundle of the blanched bean sprouts, garnish with blanched bean blossoms and serve.

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