Gastronomixs

Soft-shell crab, fresh herbs, honey, mayonnaise

Born in Melbourne in 1978, George Calombaris is a famous Australian chef, restaurateur, and author. George is also a well-known judge in the top-rating TV show MasterChef Australia.

Although George was born and bred in Melbourne, his Greek heritage with its rich and varied cuisine would later become his trademark. He began cooking in the kitchens of his mother and grandmother where he developed his passion for Greek and Cypriot foods.

His career has been exceptional from the beginning. He finished his apprenticeship at the five-star Sofitel hotel in Melbourne, where he won the Bonland National Apprentice of the Year Award in 1999. This would be followed by many more personal and restaurant awards in the next few years.

In 2006 George opened his flagship restaurant The Press Club where he serves modern Greek cuisine. His food is an exciting hybrid of classical haute cuisine and experimental ideas. His MAdE Establishment has currently grown to eleven restaurants.

George published his first cookbook in 2008, which was named after his restaurant The Press Club. In 2015 his sixth cookbook Greek was launched.

Creation by George Calombaris, The Press Club, Melbourne, Australia.

Serves 4. 

Soft-shell crab, fresh herbs, honey, mayonnaise

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Ingredients

125

g

honey

1

 

lime, juice

15

ml

fish sauce

130

g

tapioca flour

130

g

rice flour

10

g

Aleppo flakes

4

 

soft-shell crabs

 

 

salt flakes

120

g

Japanese mayonnaise

 

 

coriander

 

 

mint

30

g

almond flakes, roasted

 

 

olive oil

15

g

salt flakes

15

g

dried yeast

30

ml

extra virgin olive oil

15

g

natural Greek-style yoghurt

20

g

honey

600

g

flour, type 00

 

 

semolina, for dusting

 

 

olive oil

300

ml

water, warm

Preparation method: soft shell crab
  • Wash the coriander and mint well in iced water.
  • Pick off the leaves and discard the stalks.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the honey and lime juice to a simmer, add the fish sauce, then set aside to cool.
  • Combinethe tapioca flour, rice flour, and Aleppo flakes in a shallow bowl.
  • Cut the crabs in half and clean under running water, then pat dry with paper towel. Add to the flour mixture and toss gently to coat, shaking off any excess.
  • Add the crab pieces in batches in the deep-fryer and cook for three to four minutes or until crunchy and cooked through.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Season with salt flakes.
Preparation method: pita bread
  • Place the salt, yeast, olive oil, yoghurt, honey, 300g flour, and the warm water in a bowl of an electric mixer and beat until smooth.
  • Cover with plastic film and prove in the fridge for at least twelve hours, preferably overnight.
  • The next day, add the remaining flour to the mixture.
  • Fit the electric mixer with a dough hook and beat on a low speed until the flour is fully incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat for two to three minutes or until the dough comes away from the bowl and is tacky but not sticky when touched. Add a little more flour if needed to reach the desired consistency.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured benchtop and knead for one minute or until smooth.
  • Divide the dough into four even-sized pieces and knead into balls.
  • Dust the benchtop with semolina and, using a semolina-dusted rolling pin, roll out the balls until they’re about 5mm thick, sprinkling with extra semolina to prevent sticking, if needed.
  • Prick all over with a fork, then place on semolina-dusted baking trays and leave in a warm, dry spot to prove for 30 minutes.
  • Lightly spray a grill with oil, then add the breads one at a time and cook for two minutes on medium heat on each side.
  • Serve immediately or reheat again later in the pan.
Finishing and preparation
  • Brush the pita breads with olive oil and grill lightly on both sides.
  • Spoon the mayonnaise onto each pita bread, then top with the fried crab and fresh herbs.
  • Drizzle with the honey sauce and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Roll up tightly using baking paper to hold the pitabread.

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