Paddle crab

Maori name: pāpaka
Scientific name: Ovalipes catharus
Availability: Year round
Weight:
Length: 10–13cm carapace

 

Paddle crab

Maori name: pāpaka
Scientific name: Ovalipes catharus
Availability: Year round
Length: 10–13cm carapace
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General

 

Location

They are found around New Zealand and southern Australia where the species is widely distributed on sandy beaches in shallow water.

Attributes

Paddle crab has bright, white flesh that is crisp and moist.

Family

Paddle crabs belong to the Portunidae family (swimming crabs).

 

Related species:

 

Red crab (Chaceon bicolor) is another species of crab found in New Zealand. Red crabs are also known as Red rock crabs, or Crystal crabs (Australia).

Sustainability

The paddle crab is found off sandy beaches, and in harbours and estuaries throughout mainland New Zealand, the Chatham Islands and east and south Australia. Paddle crabs were introduced into the Quota Management System in 2002. Commercial interest was first realised in 1977-78, when good numbers of large crabs were caught off Westshore Beach, Napier. Landings increased in the early fishery from 775kg in 1977 to 306 tonnes in 1985 and 403 tonnes in 1995-96, however, they have since decreased significantly in response to market conditions.

Fishing methods

Paddle crabs are caught with baited traps or pots.

Nutrition

Paddle crab is a good source

To quality for a 'good source' claim the food must contain at least 25% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Selenium

Selenium is necessary for normal immune system function and for the production of thyroid hormones and it contributes to the maintenance of hair and nails

and Zinc

Zinc is necessary for normal immune system function, contributes to normal skin structure and the healing of wounds, the maintenance of bones, hair and nails

; and a source

To quality for a 'source' claim the food must contain at least 10% of the RDI.
The Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) is considered to be the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98 per cent) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group.

of Copper

Copper is necessary for nomal energy production and normal immune system function and it contributes to the transport and metabolism of iron

, Iodine

Iodine is necessary for the production of thyroid hormones, for normal neurological function and for normal energy metabolism, and it contributes to the growth and development in children

, Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for normal nerve and muscle function and for teeth and bone structure and it contributes to normal energy metabolism

, Phosphorus

Phosphorus is necessary for normal teeth, bone and cell membrane structure and for energy metabolism

, Potassium

Potassium is necessary for water and electrolyte balance, it contributes to the functioning of the nervous system and normal muscle function; and to the normal growth and development of children

, Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for the release of energy from food and for the normal structure and function of skin and mucous membranes, and contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue

and Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is necessary for the metabolism of protein and the transport and metabolism of iron and it contributes to immune system function, energy metabolism, to reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and to the regulation of hormonal activity

.

Seafood is a highly nutritious food and is a great source of protein

Protein is necessary for tissue building and repair, normal growth and development of bone in children and adolescents aged 4 years and over, and contributes to growth and maintenance of muscle mass

. Many species are low in saturated fat and a number of them are a good source of Omega 3

Omega 3 is a group of fatty acids that contribute to heart health

.

Tips

The flesh of the paddle crab is white, crisp, moist and delicious. To dispatch your paddle crab,force a sharp knife through the indented spot just above the tail flap on its underside - this kills the crab instantly - or put it in boiling water. Cook by boiling for 10 minutes in a small amount of water, then rinse in cold water. Hold the back legs and with the crab facing you, lift the shell off. Remove the gills and extract the flesh, cutting the crab in half with a sharp knife. Separate out the legs, claws and body and carefully extract the meat from each part of the body. Bake; bbq; steam; or fry. Particularly delicious with chilli.

Buying & Storage Tips

Paddle crabs are most commonly available whole. They should smell pleasantly briny but not pungent.