Magnificent Muddies!

Having just spent a week in the very far north of Queensland fishing and potting with our Trans Tasman whanau, one of my favourite meals once again did not disappoint.


Aussie giant Mud Crabs aka Scylla Serrata, endearingly called Muddies they are the opposite in taste. They are a ridiculously sweet, moist and flaky sea delicacy and are known as ‘Croc Lollies’.


If potting Muddies then you are probably out with someone who has an idea but the basics are, when lifting pots use the boat hook to grab the float. It turns out Muddies are called Croc lollies for good reason, so do not put any body parts outside of the gunwale as those protruding parts  can become on the rare occasion collateral damage.


Next trick is stand back and let your host skillfully handle and harness the Muddie so that their giant claws are restrained. Fun fact 1) Muddies have the 2nd highest levels of testosterone in the in the animal kingdom, right behind the bull shark, 2) Muddies can and do throw their claws and if they latch on, you are in trouble, as big Muddies can exert 3300 newtons of force. In simple terms if these buggers hit you it would crack your ribs, hence graciously allowing your host / captain to wrestle these heavy weights into submission.


I did endure many an instruction how to best cook the catch:

  1. Clean
  2. Now in terms of dispatching your catch drop them into a freezer for 20-30 minutes, this will slow them right down effectively putting them in stasis.
  3. You can then remove the hard hat by firmly grasping body and lifting hard hat off from back to front. This will send Muddie to the never never.
  4. Next split the body in half so you have left legs in left hand and right legs in right hand. Peel out the gills and give the meat a good rinse to wash out any foreign matter.
  5. Now the easy part, crack the claws with something heavy as this will allow for easier extraction once cooked.
  6. Next, place all of parts of Muddie into a steamer and steam for 7-9 minutes pending size.


That’s it. You have a beautifully cooked, moist, tender Mud Crab dish.

Grab a bib, and then add any condiment as a side and get stuck in.

Kia a nui te kai!