Recipe of the week: Queensland spanner crab, heirloom tomato and avocado

Queensland ceas spanner crab meat is light and sweet with a remarkably delicate texture. This is a great example of the incredible seafood available in Queensland. This is a simple dish, the crab served with the best quality heirloom tomatoes and avocado. The sharp tomato vinaigrette adds a little kick to the dish. In the restaurant we cook the crab under vacuum at 62 degrees C for 6 minutes which helps maintain the delicate texture. If you do not have the luxury of a circulator, gently steam the crab or buy the product cooked.

Queensland crab

This dish is beautiful as an entree or enjoyed as a light salad for lunch. Recipe serves 4.


400g Queensland spanner crab meat (cooked)
20g crème fraiche
½ bunch chopped chives
20 ml lemon juice
500g varieties of heirloom tomatoes
1 avocado
20 ml grape seed oil
Salt flakes
30ml Robert Oatley olive oil
1 punnet micro mache

Tomato vinaigrette

200g vine ripened tomatoes
30ml maple syrup
15ml balsamic vinegar
1 sprig of rosemary


1) Mix the crab, crème fraiche, lemon juice and chives

2) Cut and slice tomatoes to achieve desired presentation.

3) In a food processor puree avocado then slowly emulsify in grape seed oil. Season with salt flakes. Place in a piping bag or container.

4) For the tomato vinaigrette, place all ingredients in a small pot and place over heat until the tomatoes start to blister. Remove the rosemary sprig then blitz all in a food processor until smooth. Pass through a chinois or fine sieve. Put mix in a piping bag.

5) Arrange tomato and crab on a plate to achieve the desired presentation. Pipe on tomato vinaigrette and avocado puree. Season tomatoes with salt flakes, dress with olive oil and garnish with herbs.

Nutritional benefit: Not only is the flavour of heirloom tomatoes remarkable, they are nutritious, packed full of vitamins and anti oxidants that common varieties lack.

Thank you to Alastair Waddell, Executive Chef at qualia, for the recipe.

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