Spicy potted crab

Spicy potted crab

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(0 ratings)

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


Serves 20
An ideal elegant starter for a wedding

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 6 x 250g pkts unsalted butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder (or use ¼-½ tsp pure chilli powder - cayenne)



    Part of the capsicum family, chillies come in scores of varieties and colours (from green…

  • 950g fresh (well picked over) or frozen (thawed) white crabmeat
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped fresh chive
  • 6 tbsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • juice of 2 lemons and zest of one good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 white medium sliced loaf of bread
  • 2 lemons for garnish, cut into 20 wedges



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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21st Jan, 2011
Please sort this recipe out. Potted spicy crab sounds good.
18th Nov, 2010
This crab recipe seems to be mixed up with a chicken recipe?
25th May, 2010
People have been complaining about this recipe since 2009--isn't it about time the BBC got their act together?
29th Nov, 2009
this recipe seems to have got mixed up with another
4th May, 2009
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!!!
25th Mar, 2009
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?
7th Dec, 2007
I wish you would correct this recipe - it seems to be mixed up with another recipe.
28th Nov, 2007
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 Rita
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