Cornish chilli crab

This seafood starter is a bit of a showstopper dish, but that doesn't mean you should be afraid to try it! Why not treat the family today?

Chilli crab
  • Serves 4

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  • 2kg Cooked brown crab
  • 4tbsp Groundnut oil or sunflower oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger finely chopped
  • 3 Red chillies Dutch, medium hot - finely chopped
  • 4tbsp Tomato ketchup
  • 2tbsp Dark soy sauce
  • 1tsp Marmite
  • 150ml Water
  • 2 Spring onions cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces and finely shredded length ways
  • A handful of Fresh coriander chopped


  • STEP 1

    Put the crab on its back on the chopping board, so that the claws and softer body section face upwards, then simply twist off the main claws, leaving the legs attached to the body.

  • STEP 2

    Now put your thumbs against the hard shell close to the crab’s tail, and push and prise the body section out and away from the shell, the legs should still be attached to the body.

  • STEP 3

    Remove the small stomach sac situated just behind the crab’s mouth and pull away the feather-like gills - dead man’s fingers - which are attached along the edges of the centre part and discard.

  • STEP 4

    Using a teaspoon, scoop out the brown meat from inside the shell and reserve.

  • STEP 5

    Chop the body into quarters and then cut the main claws in half at the joint. Crack the shells of each piece with a hammer or the back of a large knife.

  • STEP 6

    Heat the oil, garlic, ginger and chilli in a wok for a minute to allow their aromas to release.

  • STEP 7

    Next, turn up the heat and fry off the brown crab meat, then add the ketchup, soy, marmite and water. These all add savoury and sweet notes to the finished dish.

  • STEP 8

    Now stir-fry the crab for 2 minutes and finally finish with chopped coriander and spring onions.

  • STEP 9

    Serve immediately with lots of finger bowls and napkins as this is a messy dish.


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