Serves 4


1 mud crab

240ml stock, water or coconut milk

Pinch of salt

Pinch of palm sugar

Lemongrass stalks, bruised

3 slices galangal

Kaffir lime leaves, torn

120ml coconut cream

2 tbsp southern style yellow curry paste

To serve

Pinch of palm sugar

2 tbsp fish sauce

Vinegar, to taste

Kalamasi lime juice, to taste

2 tbsp coconut cream

Kaffir lime leaves, shredded

Scud chillis, coarsely bruised

2 tbsp thick coconut cream, fresh


Clean the crab. Remove the cap and tail. Take out the roe, tomalley and mustard, purée, pass then refrigerate wrapped in plastic. Segment the crab meat, scrub clean and set aside. Place the stock in a pot along with the salt, palm sugar, lemongrass stalks, galangal slices and kaffir lime leaves. Add the crab meat and simmer until cooked. Remove and allow to cool before carefully removing the meat from the shell in as large pieces as possible. Set the meat aside and pass the stock. Bring the stock back to the boil and add the coconut cream then simmer for a minute. Work in the curry paste and simmer for a minute or so before adding the prepared roe, tomalley and mustard purée. Set aside until required.

To serve

Season the stock the palm sugar, fish sauce, vinegar and kalamasi juice then continue to simmer gently until rich, creamy and slightly thick. Pour into a bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for at least 30 minutes. This allows the curry to develop in taste. Just before serving, add the additional coconut cream to the curry, re-season with fish sauce, sugar and citrus. Stir in the crab meat. It should taste hot, salty, rich and creamy with a lingering length of taste. Stir in some of the shredded kaffir lime leaves and bruised scud chillis.Fold in the fresh coconut cream and sprinkle over any remaining kaffir lime leaves.