Salt & Pepper Crab Claws

Not just any ordinary salt and pepper crab claws though. Alaskan king crab claws in a Szechuan pepper and sea salt coating. I was inspired by a similar offering at Sydney restaurant China Doll, and have been aching to re-create them ever since. I cannot remember the last time I enjoyed a meal so much, nor when I last made such an absolute pig of myself. I would say I easily ate half of what was dished up. Alaskan king crab claws can be tricky to get your hands on, and I would say that The Sydney Fish Markets at Pyrmont are your best bet. They seem to be the only place that sells the fresh, uncooked variety. If you do manage to score some, then get in the kitchen pronto and whip up this super easy, fast, and supremely more-ish meal.

*When it comes to cutting the claws into pieces, first separate each leg, then cut into three or four pieces at the joints.

*I shallow fried this on a very high heat in a large wok in two batches. You need a very high heat and a large enough pan so that they sizzle and are not over crowded.


1 to 2 kg of Alaskan king claws, separated and cut into pieces

4 to 5 tbsp Szechuan pepper

3 tbsp sea salt

1 cup cornflour

1/2 cup plain flour

vegetable oil for shallow frying, about 1/3 cup

fresh lemon or lime to serve

1. Place the pepper and salt in a pestle and mortar. Grind them down into a fine powder and combine with the flours. Heat the wok or pan to maximum temperature.

2. When the wok is hot begin coating the crab claws in the seasoned flour mixture. Press it on well, then tap the excess off. When you have floured half of the claws add the oil to the wok, and as soon as it’s hot {which will take less than a minute}, begin adding the crab claws to the oil. Fry them for about five to ten minutes, turning them over and moving them around so that the larger pieces cook through. The larger pieces will take closer to ten minutes and the small, skinnier pieces will take about five minutes. They are cooked when they are red and you can see no more translucent flesh at the thickest parts and joints.

3. Serve with lemon or lime and a garden salad.

  1. That looks really good! Well done!



  2. Here’s a suggestion to which you’ll likely reply “NO WAY IN HELL” but if you ever had the free time to mess around you could film the prep & cooking of one of these dishes like a little tv show and play cool music in the background like le tigre.

    No? ok, but I think you’d be good at it.


    1. Okay, the truth is that’s exactly how I cook, with music playing. Sometimes I even offer commentary depending on the audience. But you’re right, I wouldn’t ever upload videos.


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