Spanner crab/fermented grains

Spanner crab/fermented grains

Julian Kingma

We rely so heavily on the visual when it comes to eating that I really struggled with serving this dish, fighting against that need to make everything look pretty and trying everything I could to make it look more appealing. In the end though, flavour won out.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 400g live spanner crab
200g goat's milk
200g acidic goat's whey
100g sheep's yoghurt
20g sugar
100g rye
100g millet
100g barley
6 oregano sprigs
4 fresh bay leaves
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 bunch tarragon
1 litre light chicken stock


  1. For the fermented grains, combine the goat’s milk, goat’s whey and yoghurt together in a bowl and whisk in the sugar.

    Put the grains in a separate large bowl, pour over the goat’s milk mixture and add the oregano, then cover with muslin and leave to ferment on a bench at a stable room temperature for 4–7 days, or until a skin has formed on top of the grain mix. The grains will start to smell bready when fermentation has begun. If mould appears on top of the mix then scrape it off.

    When ready to cook, tie the rest of the herbs together with string and place in a large saucepan. Scrape the skin off the fermented grain mix and add the grains to the pan, cover with the chicken stock and leave to simmer gently until the grains are al dente. Keep warm.

    Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a rapid boil, add the crab and cover with plastic wrap. Remove from the heat and leave to sit for 35 minutes, then remove the crab from the pan and leave to cool. Once cool, pick all the meat from the shell, being careful not to leave any behind.

    To serve, divide the grain mix among bowls and spoon over the freshly picked crab meat.
aaron turner
australian cooking
woodfire grill
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