Watching a cooking show can’t compete with having your fingers stuck between a spanner crab shell to scoop out the sweet meat. I was invited to the Lurpak Cooking School as part of their Game on Cooks campaign, which was held at the annual event Taste of Sydney in partnership with Electrolux in Centennial Parklands, Sydney. The Taste of Sydney is on until Sunday and with great weather holding this weekend it is an excellent day to see and taste the best of Sydney’s food and wine offerings.
I took my 18 year old cousin to this event as the time is ripe to take her under my blogging wing. She said in a post on the event on Instagram, “At the age of 15, I think I was stuck in my bed snoozing away. @mrniland on the other hand was thriving in the kitchen, leading him to open his fish eatery, Saint Peter in Paddington and create an amazing array of dishes. Today he took the reigns of @lurpakau cooking class @tasteofsydney and taught us a simple recipe using fresh Spanner Crabs from Ballina. Although I'm not a very kitchen-hands person, this experience got me excited to work with food! The best part for me would have to be eating the crab because I knew I had successfully made my first (tasty) seafood dish!”
“I went through puberty in the kitchen”, Chef Joshua Niland sais as he told us how he started out in the kitchen and as a chef at the tender age of 15 years old.
"Where are the spanner crabs from, Josh?", I asked. "These fellas are from Ballina", Josh replied and when I asked whether male or female crabs were better, "As a general rule, female crabs are better as they are more meatier."
We strapped on our aprons and started to learn from Josh how to make his Ballina spanner crab dish with coral sauce.
We started boiling the spanner crabs but we had a slight hiccup as our water wasn’t boiling so Chef Josh moved our pot to another hot plate. Once our spanner crabs were boiled for 9 minutes, we removed all parts of the crab around the shell, claws, legs, until just the main shell remained. We stuck your finger at the bottom to remove the top shell off the crab. Pour the crab juice into a separate saucepan and take the main crab section in its shell and cut it in half. Pull out the all the delicious white flesh and put on a separate plate and set aside. Then start removing the remaining flesh from the legs and claws so no sweet meat is wasted. Add 2-3 cubes of the Danish butter, Lurpak into the crab sauce and gently swirl and heat it over the hot plate. Now everything is ready for plating. We used salt with a splash of water that forms into a solidified snowball and took a chunck of it and put it on the plate. You don't eat this. This is to hold the main crab shell upside down. We then add the crabmeat and next, pour in the crab sauce we made with the Lurpak butter. The plate is then ready to serve with a bit of bread and butter and champagne. Voila! We have a delicious, easy to make spanner crab dish with coral sauce.
Taste of Sydney is on this weekend. For more details go to the Taste of Sydney website.
You can also follow Chef Josh on instagram @mrniland and also @saintpeterpaddo
See.Taste.Do was invited as a guest by The Cru Media