Andrew McLay, J Sheekey
Brown crab meat has the most flavour, so it’s best to try and incorporate it when you’re cooking. The shells shouldn’t be forgotten either as they add delicious flavour to soups and sauces. Always buy from somewhere that sells them when they’re still alive, so you’re guaranteeing they’re as fresh as possible. In London, I’d recommend See Woo in Chinatown as they have a great selection of live shellfish, including English cock crabs. It’s always better, and more satisfying, to pick them yourself, but admittedly this does create quite a lot of mess and is very time-consuming if it’s your first go.
Dressed Crab (Serves 4)
- 300g white crab meat
- 2 medium free-range egg yolks, hard-boiled for 10 mins and grated
- Wholemeal or stone-baked bread, sliced and toasted
For the crab mayonnaise:
- 150g brown crab meat
- 1 tsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp English mustard
- Half a lemon, juiced
- 3 slices of white or brown bread, crusts removed and broken into small pieces
- 50ml sunflower oil
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- Make the mayonnaise the day before you plan to serve it. Place the brown crab meat, egg yolks, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and mustard into a blender and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice and bread. Process again until the mixture is smooth, stopping the machine occasionally to give it a stir.
- Very slowly trickle the oil into the blender, processing on a low speed as you pour. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides with a spatula and stir. When the mayonnaise is smooth, empty it into a bowl and season if necessary. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
- At J Sheekey we present this in an oval mould to emulate the shape of a crab shell. The best way to serve this at home is on individual plates with equal portions of white crab meat, accompanied by the egg and brown crab mayonnaise. Serve with wholemeal toast.
Michael Brown, Daphne’s
To get the best flavour out of crab, cook it very simply: bring salted water to the boil and then lower in the crab. Simmer for 11-12 minutes and then leave to cool with a little liquid on a tray in the fridge, ready to prep for your recipe.
- 160g fresh white crab meat, hand picked
- 75ml shellfish or fish stock
- 200g cooked linguine
- 5g red chilli, finely diced
- 5g garlic, finely diced
- 5g parsley, chopped
- 100ml olive oil
- 30g butter
- 5g dried chilli flakes
- Half a lemon
- Heat up a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the fresh white crab meat, garlic and fresh chilli and cook on a medium heat for roughly 2 minutes.
- Next add the shellfish or fish stock and cover, leaving to reduce and letting the flavours develop.
- Separately, boil water in a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt, and cook the linguine, draining once al dente.
- Add the cooked linguine to the saucepan and heat it all through together.
- Finish with the parsley, butter and dried chilli, with a final garnish of a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve in a large pasta bowl.
Stuart Kilpatrick, London Shell Co
Crab is an ingredient we use almost year-round at the restaurant, but it's particularly good in summer. Generally, we use brown or spider crab. We prefer using live crabs over the pre-cooked or picked stuff as the flavour of the meat is fresher and sweeter. However, if I was cooking at home, I'd happily use picked meat as I'm lazy like that. Just remember that if you do use picked crab, choose the unpasteurised stuff over dull long-life alternatives. This recipe is a perfect starter or light lunch on a hot day.
Dressed Crab With Chilled Peach Soup, Jalapeño & Coriander (Serves 6)
- 300g white crab meat
- 1 lemon
- 4 ripe peaches
- Half a cucumber
- 1/4 bunch of basil
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp white peppercorn
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 150ml extra virgin olive oil
- 50ml sweet white wine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Green tabasco, to taste
- 6-8 ice cubes
- 1 green jalapeño
- Handful of coriander
- Peel the cucumber and peaches, discard the skins. Remove the stone from the peaches and chop the flesh of both into rough chunks. Mix them together in a large bowl with the coriander seeds, white pepper, vinegar, wine, olive oil, sugar and salt. Bruise the basil by spanking the leaves between the palms of your hands to release the oils and add to the mix. Don't break or chop the basil as you're going to remove it later. Now cover and leave the mixture somewhere cool to marinate for at least a couple of hours.
- This is a perfect opportunity to cook and pick your crab if you've decided to go for a live one. Dress the picked crab meat with a generous pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon. Uncover your bowl and fish out the basil. Stir in the ice (6-8 cubes depending on size, but have more on hand should you need to adjust the consistency). Blitz together in a jug blender or juicer until really smooth then, using the back of a ladle, pass through a sieve. Adjust the seasoning, adding a good splash of green tabasco if you like.
- Divide the soup evenly into six bowls, add a dollop of the seasoned crab on top, and garnish with very thinly sliced jalapeños and a handful of coriander.
Marco Calenzo, Zuma
To cook crab, buy a high-quality king crab and boil it for 15 minutes. Place it on ice to stop it cooking, then pick over the meat to remove all the shell. You’ll be able to buy whole crab from any good fish market or store, such as Harrods or Selfridges. It’s better to buy a whole one, but sometimes you can buy a good, pre-picked cooked one.
Crab & Sobacha Soba Noodles With Sesame & Ginger Dressing (Makes one large portion for sharing)
- 60g picked white crab meat
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- 6 edamame
- 1 shiso leaf
- 70g sobacha soba noodles (or any other soba noodles)
For the sesame dressing:
- 50g rice vinegar
- 30g yamasa soy
- 10g pure sesame oil
- 3g chilli oil
- 5g grated ginger
- 20g sesame seeds
- Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl.
- Blanch the cherry tomatoes, remove the skin and cut into quarters. Blanch the edamame beans and remove from skins. Thinly slice the shiso.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the noodles, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes. Drain the noodles into a sieve or colander and run under cold water for a minute or so to remove the starch.
- Add the soba to your bowl with the dressing, then add the tomatoes and edamame, and mix well. Add your crab meat and sprinkle with the sliced shiso before serving.
Sanjay Dwivedi, Coya
Crab has a sweet flavour, so it’s best not to add too many ingredients as they will only mask the flavour. I like to use lime juice, a hint of chilli and olive oil. Although cooking a whole crab will give you the best results, I like to keep it simple – buy it pre-picked, unless you have loads of time.
Cornish Crab & Avocado Tacos With Yuzu Mayonnaise
- Corn tortillas (if you can’t find tortillas, soft wraps can be substituted which are readily available in all supermarkets
For the yuzu mayonnaise:
- 100g mayonnaise
- 5g yuzu Juice
- ½ lime, juiced and zested
For the crab mix:
- 100g Cleaned White Crab Meat—ask your fishmonger
- 1 Chopped Red Chilli
- ½ Cucumber – diced into 1cm cubes with no seeds and skin
- 2 Chopped Spring Onions
- 1 Lime (Juiced)
- 2 sprig Picked Chopped Mint
- Pinch Malden Sea Salt
- ½ Finely Diced Green Apple
- 40g of the Yuzu Mayonnaise
- ½ bunch Chopped chives (optional)
For the avocado mix:
- 1 Peeled Avocado
- ½ Lime (Juiced)
- 1 drop Yuzu Juice (optional)
- 1g Maldon Sea Salt
- There is a wide variety of tacos available in supermarkets. I prefer to use corn tortillas, which I cut into 4-inch discs. You can either sear tacos with a touch of olive oil in a medium hot pan or simply fry. Deep fried tacos can be done a day before, though the seared ones have to be done 30 mts before. Once done keep in a slightly damp towel to keep it moist.
- Mix all the yuzu mayonnaise ingredients together and taste for seasoning. If yuzu juice is not available, you can replace with 12 drops of tabasco or the juice of two whole limes.
3. Combine the crab mix ingredients and refrigerate. Please note, you can use any soft herbs growing in the garden like tarragon, parsley, coriander etc. depending on your personal tastes. If you like the crab to be spicy, add tabasco or your favourite chilli sauce to spike up the flavour. Be sure not to add to much as it will then mask the flavour of crab.
4. Crush the avocado ingredients in a pestle and mortar. Place in a piping bag and refrigerate.
5. When you’re ready to serve, pipe approx. 1 tsp of avocado mix on a taco. Add 20 gm of crab mix and garnish with coriander cress and yuzu tobiko. Or, allow your guests to assemble their own.
Peter del Campo, Blakes Hotel
In UK, the best crab comes from Cornwall, especially from St Ives. To get the best flavour out of the crab, I generally use a citrus product such as lemon zest or lime zest. Chives would be another great option. In the restaurant, we dress our crab salad with a spicy mayonnaise made with some drops of tabasco.
King Crab Salad
60g king crab meat
- 1/2 punnet of peashoots
- 50g red endive
- 30g roasted sweetcorn
- 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
- 1/2 lemon juice
For the dressing:
- 2 egg yolks
- 75ml extra virgin olive oil
- 75ml sunflower oil
- 2 lemon zests
- Pinch of sea salt
- 10ml tabasco
- 15g dijon mustard
First prepare the king crab clusters by removing all the meat from the shell, making sure there is no broken shell mixed with the meat. If you have pre-picked crab, leave as is.
Next make the mustard dressing by combining all the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Make sure to add a dash of tabasco sauce.
Finally, char-grill the sweetcorn, then mix with the peashoots, avocado and endive. Top with the mustard dressing and crab meat and serve.