2 hours, plus 4 hours drying and 1 week pickling time
This crab canapé recipe by Phil Fanning is tricky to make, but the finished result is more than worth the extra effort. With tangy pickled cucumbers, creamy mayonnaise and crunchy crab tapioca crisps, each mouthful offers a burst of different textures and flavours that will linger in the minds of your guests long into the evening.
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To prepare the pickled cucumbers, bring the water, rice wine vinegar, sugar and malt extract to the boil
200g of water
200g of rice wine vinegar
200g of sugar
1 tsp malt extract
Add the rest of the ingredients (except the cucumbers) and leave to cool. Put the cucumbers into a jar, cover with the liquid and seal tightly. Leave to pickle for one week
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dill seeds
1 sprig of tarragon
4 cucumbers, baby ridge back
To cook the crab, bring the water and malt extract to the boil in a large pan with a lid, drop the crab into the water and replace the lid. As soon as the water comes back to the boil, turn the heat down and gently simmer for 10 minutes
35g of malt extract
1kg cock crab
As soon as the time is up, lift the crab out and drop it into ice water to stop the cooking process. Allow the crab to cool then crack the shells and pick all of the meat from the body and legs. Go through the crab meat at least twice to remove any shell. Reserve the shells for the crab oil
Preheat the oven to 90°C-100°C/gas mark 1/4
Remove the brown head meat, spread onto a non-slip baking mat and bake in the oven until dried. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4. Set the dried brown meat aside until ready to make the brown crab tapioca crisps
To make the crab oil, place the crab shells in a kitchen towel and crush with a rolling pin to create small pieces then bake in the oven for 40 minutes until dry and toasted
Transfer the toasted shells to a small pan and cover with vegetable oil. Heat to 80°C and hold this temperature for about 1 hour until the shells have imparted their flavour. Drain the oil from the shells and allow to cool
To make the brown crab tapioca crisps, cook the tapioca pearls in a large pan of boiling water for 16 minutes, drain and allow to cool. Transfer half of the cooked tapioca to a food processor and add the reserved dried brown crab meat, malt extract and the fennel pollen
50g of tapioca pearls
1 tsp malt extract
2 pinches of fennel pollen
Set the processor running and add enough fish stock to make a wallpaper paste consistency. Add the remaining cooked tapioca and quickly bring together
325g of fish stock
Spread the mix in a thin layer onto a non-stick baking mat and bake at 90°C-100°C until the tapioca has just dried. You might need to flip the sheet over half way through to dry the underside
Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C
oil, for deep-frying
Once dry, break the tapioca sheet into pieces and fry each piece in the oil for a couple of seconds until puffed up. Drain on kitchen paper and season
To make the mayonnaise, place all of the ingredients except the crab oil in a blender. Blitz until smooth, then slowly drizzle in 120ml of the crab oil until emulsified
20g of pasteurised egg yolk
7g of lemon juice
7g of malt extract
5g of Dijon mustard
To finish, mix a little of the mayonnaise with the crab meat, lemon juice, fennel pollen and sea salt to taste
1 pinch of fennel pollen
To serve, build the dish onto the Peter's Yard cracker. Start by adding the crab meat, followed by the pickled cucumber (diced and in ribbons), tapioca crisp, a few pipings of mayonnaise and edible flowers
12 medium crispbread, 10cm, preferably Peter's Yard
edible flowers, or micro herbs, optional
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