Eats, Shoots & Reads

Eats #26: Crabtastic!

Ingredients: [Aioli] 1 small garlic clove, 1/2 tablespoon sea salt, 4 tablespoons mayonnaise. [Other] 400g white crab meat, 150g brown crab meat, handful fennel tops, chilli, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, 8 slices ciabatta, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper.

Difficulty: 1/5
Rating: 4/5

First make the crab mix by finely chopping the chilli and fennel tops and adding to the crab meat. Mix together and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the juice of a lemon (to taste) and drizzle with a little olive oil.

Next make the aioli by crushing the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar until smooth. Blend with a tablespoon of mayonnaise and then fold into the remaining mayonnaise.

Once both the aioli and crab mix are ready, slice and toast the ciabatta and assemble by adding a spoonful of the crab mix and a dollop of the aioli to each slice of ciabatta – serve!


This was a simple, easy dish and was more assembly rather than cook.

Once again I learnt the lesson of not reading the recipe properly. I spent ages in the supermarket looking for pickled brown and white crab meat, could I find it anywhere – NOPE! In the end I decided that tinned crab meat, of various sizes, would have to do…

A little defeated I bought what I could and headed home. On re-reading the recipe I discovered it says picked crab meat, not pickled – what an idiot! Turns out I could of popped to the fishmongers and bought fresh, picked crab instead of spending hours searching the supermarkets – oh well!

My next head ache was trying to find “fennel tops”. I wasn’t sure what fennel tops were, I assumed it was just the top part of a fennel bulb? I still don’t know if that’s the case but it’s what I opted for. Finding fennel however wasn’t easy – in the end it took 3 supermarkets – thank you Morrisons.

Despite the little hiccups along the way this recipe was really nice to make. It was simple and used clean, fresh ingredients. The crab was sweet, juicy and delicate and with the chilli and fennel had a subtle kick.

The crab worked really well with the aioli and the creamy, smooth, garlic flavour complimented the taste of the crab perfectly. The ciabatta was warm, crunchy and added an extra texture to the dish.

Overall this was a wonderful, simple, delicious recipe and I could imagine it working equally well with other white fish and vegetables such as spring onion, cucumber, celery, etc.

I definitely recommend giving this dish a go – you wont regret it!

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