Being from Waikanae - I have had plenty of experience with this crustacean.
About 10 years ago they were in plague proportions on the Kapiti Coast - if you went drag netting for flounder - chances are - you would instead trawl up dozens of these creatures.
If you waded in the surf looking for the Tuatua - chances are a paddle crab would nip you on the toes.
Even just swimming and having fun in the surf - would probably mean a few close encounters - of the painful kind.
Over the years the Paddle Crab has gone from the heavy weight of pain to a delicious and expensive gourmet treat.
So therefore, rather than tossing these things back to bite another day - it is time to have a go at cooking them.
Generally I like to make crab cakes - with takes hours of work to extract the meat. It is very the worth it though - Paddle Crab has such a sweet and delicious flavour.
Also a favourite is a simple "Waikanae Paddle Crab Salad"
- 1/2 Cup Vinegar Wine
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon
- 250 grams crab meat
- 1 tablespoon Capers
- 10 torn leaves ice berg lettuce
- 12 leaves of mint chopped
- 1 half cucumber (peel - slice in half - remove seeds - chop)
- 2 sprigs of parsley chopped finely
- 1 spring onion
- 8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
Toss salad - add vinaigrette - then drain and serve with crusty french bread and butter.