Fresh crab recipe

In this video, Mitch Tonks shows us how to prepare a fresh crab ready for a tasty supper.

WARNING: This clip contains a scene where a live crab is humanely killed.

Mitch says: "In my opinion I have never tasted a better crab than the ones caught off the South Devon coast. It's worth travelling here just to enjoy the wonderful sweet meat eaten as simply as possible, it is something so good that as a county we should be shouting out loud about it.
"A crab supper makes for the perfect start to the weekend, an informal meal with the family of simply boiled crab, mayonnaise, bread and wine."

Mitch Tonk's homemade mayonnaise recipe

Serves 6, Preparation time 10 minutes.


2 egg yolks

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

25 ml white wine vinegar

1 Pinch of salt

1 good Squeeze of lemon juice

350 ml vegetable oil

50 ml olive oil


Put the egg yolks, mustard and white wine vinegar into a bowl.  Whisk together and then pour the vegetable oil in in a steady stream while continuing to whisk, until you have a thick creamy consistency.  Lastly whisk in the olive oil then add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt.


  • 2 kg fresh crab
  • 1 handful rock salt
  • 4.4 lbs fresh crab
  • 1 handful rock salt
  • 4.4 lbs fresh crab
  • 1 handful rock salt


  • Cuisine: British
  • Recipe Type: Main
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Preparation Time: 20 mins
  • Cooking Time: 18 mins
  • Serves: 6


  1. Either have your crab cooked to order by your fishmonger or cook it yourself.
  2. For a 2kg crab, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a good handful of rock salt and then boil the crab for 15-18 minutes, then drain, stand the crab on its nose to cool.
  3. When cool enough to handle turn the crab on its back, with the back facing you, tuck your hands around the side of the shell and force the carapace away from the shell with your thumbs. This can feel awkward but a bit of brute force usually does the trick.
  4. Nothing in the crab is harmful but you will see the feathery `dead man's fingers' sticking up at the edge of the body, they are harmless but give them a tug and discard them. With your thumb press on the stomach sac that is behind the eyes of the crab in the top shell, this should easily break away.
  5. Scrape all the delicious brown meat out with a spoon from the top shell in a bowl and mix well with a fork.
  6. Pull off the claws and legs giving them all a good crack with the back of a heavy knife then cut the carapace into chunks. Break the claws and take out the white meat from the thick end.
  7. Use the back of a heavy bladed knife to crack open the remaining claw and the pincers. Remove all the white meat and flake into a bowl. Remove any pieces of cartilage inside of each claw, pick off the meat and discard the cartilage.
  8. To remove the meat from the body of the crab, take a sharp knife, cut the crab body in half then in half again. It is usually easiest to pick out the meat using your fingers.
  9. Enjoy picking the whole thing and serve with a nice bowl of home-made mayonnaise.

Recipe taken from Fish: The Complete Fish and Seafood Companion

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