Cromer crabs come from Cromer, Norfolk, England, and they are smaller than most British crabs. Cromer crabs are sweet and they offer a good amount of light meat compared to dark. Although there are not as many fishermen these days as there used to be, twelve or so ships still head out daily. You can buy crabs ready-dressed but making your own is so easy. If you are unable to get Cromer crab, then feel free to use another type.
When buying a freshly cooked crab, the fishmonger should be happy to pull it slightly open so you can see it is full of meat. Put your cooked crab on a chopping board on its back then twist off the legs and claws. Put your thumbs against the shell near the tail and prize the body away from the shell. Discard the gray-white stomach sac behind the mouth and the long white parts from the body section.
There are lots of little crevices in the body, so pick and scrape out the crabmeat, keeping the light meat separate from the dark meat. Use a nutcracker or hammer to crack the claws, and then poke out the meat with a skewer. Before filling the shell with the crabmeat, ensure you have broken off the jagged rim and make sure there are no sharp bits left. Rub oil over the inside of the shell before adding the crabmeat and egg.
- 2 cooked Cromer crabs (or similar)
- 2 hard-boiled eggs
- 1½ oz whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 5 oz mayonnaise
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Stir the prepared flaked white crabmeat with the mayonnaise.
- Season to taste.
- Stir the dark crab meat with the mustard and breadcrumbs.
- Separate the cooked egg white from the yolk.
- Finely chop both, but keep them separate.
- Press the dark crabmeat mixture into the outside parts of each shell (like in the photo.)
- Press the chopped egg yolk alongside it, so you have dark crabmeat, egg yolk, large gap, egg yolk, dark crabmeat.
- Press the chopped egg white next to the egg yolk on both sides.
- Finish off with the light crabmeat in the center.
- Sprinkle parsley between the dark crabmeat and egg yolk on both sides.
- Serve with lemon wedges or bread slices and butter, or some salad if you prefer.
Dressed crab can be enjoyed with bread and butter, so you can make little sandwiches, or you can present it with crackers, melba toast, or a simple salad. This delicacy is really simple to make and you just need to combine the dark crabmeat with a few other ingredients, do the same with the white crabmeat, and arrange them back in the cleaned shell, along with egg and parsley. This might sound simple but the finished dish looks incredible, as you can see from this shot, and the taste is magnificent. This has to be one of the very best ways to enjoy fresh crab.
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