Spicy potted crab

Spicy potted crab

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(0 ratings)


Magazine subscription – 5 issues for £5

Cooking time

Takes 1 hour 10 mins-1 hour 25 mins, plus chilling

Skill level



Serves 20

An ideal elegant starter for a wedding

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 6 x 250g pkts unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder (or use ¼-½ tsp pure chilli powder - cayenne)
  • 950g fresh (well picked over) or frozen (thawed) white crabmeat
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
  • juice of 2 lemons and zest of one good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 white medium sliced loaf of bread
  • 2 lemons for garnish, cut into 20 wedges

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


  1. The day before: Heat the butter in a pan until melted. Turn up the heat a little to separate most of the milk solids (the creamy white looking part) to start clarifying, but be careful it doesn’t burn. It is clarified when there are a few nutty brown “bits” at the bottom and the remaining liquid is a clear golden colour. Cool slightly and carefully pour into a jug, leaving the nutty “bits” behind.
  2. Pour the clear butter back into a clean pan and tip in the chilli powder. Heat very gently for 1-2 minutes. (The butter will cloud up again.)
  3. Put the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and season. Carefully fold together with a spatula, trying not to break up the plump flesh. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Loosely spoon the mixture into 20 100ml ramekins or into one larger shallow serving dish. Ensure you leave a nice level top. Now pour over the chilli clarified butter to give a thin covering. Stir the butter to distribute the spice each time before you pour. If the butter cools too much, microwave it for 30 seconds. Cover the ramekins and put in the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight, until the butter is set.
  5. Make the melba toast: lightly toast the bread. Cut off the crusts, then slice the bread through the centre so you have ultra thin slices. Put the toast, cut-side up, under a medium to hot grill to toast until the edges curl. Be careful as it burns easily. Cool, and store in sealed plastic bags.
  6. On the day- one hour ahead: Remove the potted crab from the fridge an hour before serving, but keep in a cool place. You want the mixture to be soft enough so that all the delicious buttery flavours blend into the toast. Put each ramekin or a spoonful of spicy crab on to a serving plate with a lemon wedge.
  7. Crisp the melba toast, if necessary, in the oven for 5 minutes. Place a couple of slices on each plate and serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2002

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.


Show comments
cindyweston's picture

Please sort this recipe out. Potted spicy crab sounds good.

watsona01's picture

This crab recipe seems to be mixed up with a chicken recipe?

melwade's picture

People have been complaining about this recipe since 2009--isn't it about time the BBC got their act together?

linda169's picture

this recipe seems to have got mixed up with another

cakeyramshaw's picture

I have to say its not difficult to see there's been an error! Ignore the recipe after the first sentance of point 4 then pick up at point 7!!! Pleased some of you didnt have chicken or asparagus in your fridges at the time!!!

kfroggatt's picture

I would like to think that I am a pretty good cook, and was going to make this as a starter for Mother's day, however when reading the recipe, it just didn't make sense, as it talks about Chicken and Asparagus which are not in the list of ingredients..... have two recipes been merged together?

deevanveen's picture

I wish you would correct this recipe - it seems to be mixed up with another recipe.

riorita's picture

Interested in this recipe but there seems to be two recipes together as half way through it talks about asparagus and chicken! I'm now not entirely sure how I make this recipe, any chance of you correcting this or emailing me the correct recipe.

Many thanks