Cornish chilli crab

Jack Stein

Jack Stein

2nd July 2014
Jack Stein

Cornish chilli crab

Chefs often regard crab meat as a two-in-one ingredient. While white meat contains a light and sweet flavour the brown meat is often richer in taste meaning it can be used as a mix and on its own due to its unique flavour. Why not give the following Cornish chilli crab recipe a try in your kitchen? by Jack Stein


  • 2 kg cooked brown crab
  • 4 tablespoons groundnut or sunflower oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 medium-hot, red, Dutch chillies, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon marmite
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) water
  • 2 spring onions, cut into 5 cm (2 inch) pieces and finely shredded length ways
  • Handful of chopped fresh coriander


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.
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.
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.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out the brown meat from inside the shell and
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
Heat the oil, garlic, ginger and chilli in a wok for a minute to allow their aromas to release.
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 dishes.
Now stir-fry the crab for 2 minutes and finally finish with chopped coriander and spring onions.
Serve immediately with lots of finger bowls and napkins as this is a messy dish.

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