Blue Swimmer Crab and Pearl Couscous Stew

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4


4 whole blue swimmer crab, cleaned and cut into 4, claws cracked slightly (heads & 4 pieces roughly chopped and reserved for bisque)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 fennel, chopped
2 cloves garlic, bruised
½ bunch thyme
½ bunch tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 tsp coriander seeds
Pinch saffron
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 – 2 tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp Pernod
1 cup white wine
3L fish stock
2 cups pearl couscous
Parsley, very finely chopped

Blue Swimmer Crab and Pearl Couscous Stew


For bisque, heat oil in a large pot. Add the crab heads and extra crab pieces to the oil and sauté for 4-5 minutes until well coloured. Add the vegetables, herbs and spices and cook for a further five minutes to colour. Now add the tomato paste and mix well. Deglaze by adding the Pernod and white wine and reduce. Add the stock and water. Bring to the boil and then turn down, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and into a large pan, add tomatoes and keep warm on a gentle heat.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the pearl couscous for 6-7 minutes or until al dente. Strain.

Mix 1/3 of the bisque through the pearl couscous and keep warm.

Add the crab pieces to the remaining bisque and poach until they change colour.

To serve, place a mound of pearl couscous on individual plates. Top with 3-4 crab pieces of crab and garnish with parsley, olive oil and tarragon.