Fresh crab is a pure delight and combined with some Spanish classics, the result is a spectacular Mediterranean style starter or indulgent tapas dish.
How to cook a live crab
1. Fresh crab is definitely the best way to go as once the crab has died, it deteriorates very quickly. Don’t be put off about cooking a live crab as it is not as complicated or scary as many people think. When you bring your crab home, it will be perfectly ok in a small container covered with a damp cloth and kept in the fridge until it is time to cook it.
2. About an hour or two before you want to cook the crab, place it in the freezer which will put it into a state of deep consciousness and is said to be a humane way of killing and cooking the crab effectively. Also if you place a live crab without freezing first, straight into boiling water, it will shed its shell and legs as it will feel threatened.
3. Just before you bring the crab out of the freezer, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and when it is boiling drop the crab in, cover and lower the heat.
4. Cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size. When it is cooked, the shell will be a lovely bright red colour. Remove from the pot and leave to cool.
Mediterranean Crab Recipe
You will need (serves 2-3 as a tapa):
1 fresh crab, cooked and cooled
Small boiled potatoes
Alioli ‘garlic mayonnaise’
Handful fresh chopped parsley
Assortment of black and green olives
How to prepare:
1. Once the crab is cool enough to handle, remove the claws and legs, crack open and pull out the flesh.
2. Next, turn over the shell and twist the tail flap so it comes off. Place a knife in between the main shell and the part where the legs were, twist to open up and then take out the brown meat.
3. Try to keep the main shell intact as it will be used for serving. Pull of the head part and scrape away the gills and intestines and any yellow ‘mush’ in the cavities (also known as crab butter)
4. With a spoon, scrape out as much remaining meat as possible.
5. Wash out the shell and into the bottom, place a few boiled, chopped potatoes and stuff the rest of the shell with the meat.
6. Squeeze some lemon juice over the meat and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
7. Place the shell onto a plate and around the edge place the olives, some potatoes and a generous amount of alioli.