Tag Archives: crab

Seafood broth

Seafood broths and Thai soups are delicious, if you love fish and spicy things then you will enjoy broths. They are lighter than a curry but I find they satisfy the spice need. The off-putting thing when making a broth is the amount of ingredients involved and the bother of clarifying the soup. I find that if you prep all of your ingredients first this cuts out a lot of ‘faff’. I didn’t clarify this broth either, only because I wasn’t entertaining.

Serves 4
1 inch fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
2 limes, juiced and reserve a strip of lime
3 pints of fish stock
1 lemongrass stalk, use the outer leaves for the stock.
1 red birdseye chilli, cut in half or chopped
1 tbsp thai fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
8 headless raw prawns, save the shells for the broth
1 dressed crab, you’ll only need the white meat for this dish and the shell
15g rice noodles
100g cod fillet, thinley sliced
2 spring onions, chopped and finley sliced.
25 bok choi, cut into chunks
25g beansprouts
To garnish:
1tbsp each of coriander and mint leaves
2 birdseye chillies
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
You’ll need 3 pans, 2 medium and 1 small.

Peel the ginger, save the peel and cut the ginger into thin slices
Remove a strip of zest from one lime, this piece is for the stock. Juice both limes and discard the limes. (save the strip!)

Pour the fish stock into a large pan, add 3/4 of the sliced ginger, the ginger peel, the strip of lime zest, lime juice, outer leaves of the lemongrass, birdseye chilli, fish sauce and soy sauce. Gradually bring this to the boil.

While this is coming up to the boil. Decapitate your raw prawns and remove the shells, add the shells and heads to your stock pot. Take your dressed crab and scoop out the white meat, and set aside for later. Scoop out the brown meat, and put it in a bowl and refrigerate for a pate on another day. You’ll be left with the shell which should also go into the stock pot. Cover and simmer for 20mins*.


Now sieve the stock into another medium pan, discard the items left in your sieve. This stock is now ready to use.

In the smaller pan you need to bring lightly salted water to the boil. once at boiling point add the noodles and remove the pan from the heat, leave to soak for 2 mins. Drain and set aside.

Finely chop your ginger that you sliced earlier. Chop the lemongrass in half. Bring the stock to a gentle simmer and add the prawns, cod, ginger and lemongrass. Cook for 1 min.

Add the noodles, white crab meat, spring onions, bok choi, and beansprouts. Simmer for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.

To serve mix your mint and coriander in one bowl, mix your chillies and rice wine vinegar in another bowl.

Divide your broth into suitable bowls with a ladle and garnish to your taste.

*After the 20mins you can clarify the stock if you wish.



Spaghetti with crab and mint

I’m currently looking for tasty, healthy dishes without spending lots of money.  I picked up my Lucas Hollweg book this morning, ‘Good Things to Eat’, as he usually creates dishes that involve simple and delicious ingredients. I turned to page 173 and saw Spaghetti with crab and mint, it shouted fresh and tasty to me, so that was this evenings dinner.

100g wholemeal spaghetti
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 slices of wholemeal bread
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Sprinkling of crushed chilli flakes
125g crab meat, taken from a small dressed crab
Handful of mint leaves
Juice of half a lemon

Step 1.
Cook the pasta, following the instructions on the packet. I used wholemeal spaghetti which took 11 mins.

Step 2.
While it is bubbling away, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan and add the breadcrumbs, garlic and chilli. Until the breadcrumbs turn golden brown. Dont let anything burn! Remove the pan from the heat and sit to one side.

Step 3.
Season the crab meat well. Drain the cooked pasta. Now stir in the crab, half of your mint, the lemon juice and the zest, and a drizzle of olive oil. now plate up your pasta and sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture that you created in step 2 and top this with the rest of your mint.

Pasta is filling, so it’s great to find light pasta options especially in spring. The lemon, mint and crab worked well together, as expected! The chilli is a must, whether you like hot food or not, I think you’d find it bland without it, and you don’t need much.


This dish reminded me of summer and being near the sea, so if you are feeling the need to be on holiday, at a low-cost, pour a glass of crisp dry white wine, and try this dish.


Prawn and Crab Bisque

Prawn and Crab Bisque with sourdough bread and homemade fish stock

Serves 8 starters / 4 main meals

Reference: Good Housekeeping, December 2011, page 203

For the stock
:  Fish heads and various discarded fish items Left over veg: Leek, onion, carrot, a few chillies, boiling water.
800g Raw Prawns
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion
3 celery sticks
4 large carrots, chopped
200ml white wine
1tsp paprika
2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
3 pints of fish stock
300ml double cream
100g White crab meat

You will need:
Wooden spoon
Food processor
Slotted spoon

We created our own fish stock before starting the bisque. I had asked at Haymans Fisheries if they sold fish stock, they didn’t however they gave me a bag of fish bits: heads/tails etc. making my own stock was a first for me, and it was worth it. I put the fish bits into a pan, and added some root vegetables that were left over from the week, including: leek, green pepper, carrot, small chunk of swede and chilli. Topping the pan up with boiling water and allowed to simmer for an hour. This could have taken longer, for more depth in flavour but an hour was all the time I had spare.

Peel the prawns, de-vein and put them in the fridge to chill. line the plate with kitchen paper to take the excess water away.

Taking the shells, heads and legs of the prawns, put them into a large saucepan. add the oil to the pan, and put the pan over a medium heat. Fry for 5mins crushing the shells/heads/legs with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped celery, onion and carrots to the pan, fry for 10mins stirring occasionally.

Pour in the wine and leave bubbling to awaken the alcohol. Add the paprika and cook for 1min. Now add the tomatoes and stock, leave to simmer for 30mins.


Blend the contents of the pan, shells included until it’s smooth, as smooth as possible any way. Now pour the soup through a fine sieve, discarding the pulp that won’t go through the sieve. Rinse the food processor, but don’t pack it away, you’ll need it in a few mins.

Put the pan back on the heat and add the raw peeled prawns, leave out 2 prawns per person bring the soup up to a simmer and bubble for 5mins. Using the slotted spoon take the prawns out and add to the food processor, along with a few ladlefuls of the soup. Blend the prawns and then return to the pan.

Add the cream and most of the crab into the pan, make sure the soup is piping hot, check the seasoning and then serve into your bowls, scatter the remaining crab, a drizzle of oil.

It took just over an hour from start to finish, not including the time taken to create the stock.

The recipe suggests serving with rosemary croutes, but earlier in the day I had purchased sourdough bread, which was great to have with the soup. It reminded me of Lobster Bisque from Boston, USA.