Sunday, May 23, 2010

Waikanae Paddle Crab - as a Salad

The Paddle Crab is a pesky critter. Do not be taken in by this crab's "smiling" shell - the Paddle Crab has a nasty nip.

Being from Waikanae - I have had plenty of experience with this crustacean.

About 10 years ago they were in plague proportions on the Kapiti Coast - if you went drag netting for flounder - chances are - you would instead trawl up dozens of these creatures.

If you waded in the surf looking for the Tuatua - chances are a paddle crab would nip you on the toes.

Even just swimming and having fun in the surf - would probably mean a few close encounters - of the painful kind.

Over the years the Paddle Crab has gone from the heavy weight of pain to a delicious and expensive gourmet treat.

So therefore, rather than tossing these things back to bite another day - it is time to have a go at cooking them.

Generally I like to make crab cakes - with takes hours of work to extract the meat. It is very the worth it though - Paddle Crab has such a sweet and delicious flavour.

Also a favourite is a simple "Waikanae Paddle Crab Salad"


  • 1/2 Cup Vinegar Wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon 


  • 250 grams crab meat
  • 1 tablespoon Capers
  • 10 torn leaves ice berg lettuce
  • 12 leaves of mint chopped
  • 1 half cucumber (peel - slice in half - remove seeds - chop)
  • 2 sprigs of parsley chopped finely
  • 1 spring onion
  • 8 cherry tomatoes (halved)

Toss salad - add vinaigrette - then drain and serve with crusty french bread and butter.

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