Crab and compressed watermelon

This is complex crab and watermelon recipe from Simon Hulstone is a truly challenging recipe. It requires specialist ingredients, specialist equipment and cooking sous vide. However, if you are prepared to make the effort and have the equipment, you will not be disappointed.

First published in 2015
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Crab

Watermelon

Cucumber ketchup

  • 2 cucumbers, juiced
  • 2g of gellan gum type F
  • 1g of gellan LT100
  • 1 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar

Lovage gel

  • 400ml of chicken stock
  • 4g of gellan gum type F
  • 1g of gellan LT100
  • 1 handful of fresh lovage
  • 1 drop of green food colouring

To plate

Equipment

  • Piping bag 1-2cm nozzle
  • Thermomix TM31
  • Stick blender
  • Sous vide or water bath
  • Electric mixer
  • Vacuum bag and machine

Method

1
Infuse the lovage with the stock and simmer over a medium heat. Pass through a sieve and add a touch of green food colouring
  • 400ml of chicken stock
  • 1 handful of fresh lovage
  • 1 drop of green food colouring
2
Place the stock in Thermomix and bring to 100°C, add the gellans at speed 4 and mix at 95°c for a further 2 minutes. Pour onto a flat metal tray to cover a thickness of about 1mm
  • 4g of gellan gum type F
  • 1g of gellan LT100
3
Leave to cool. Once cool, cut into squares of approximately 10cm
4
For the watermelon, peel and trim the fruit and slice into pieces approximately 1cm thick, choosing the best pip free areas. Cut into rectangles approximately 4 x7cm
5
Put the pieces in a vac pac bag and vacuum. Then release from the bags; this compresses the juices and makes the watermelon transparent but bright red
6
For the crab, use fresh white crab meat. Check for shells and cartilage. Add the mayonnaise to bind, then add the seasoning and chives
7
For the cucumber ketchup, bring the cucumber juice up to 100°C in the Thermomix. Add the gellans and blend for a further 2 minutes
  • 2 cucumbers, juiced
  • 2g of gellan gum type F
  • 1g of gellan LT100
8
Pour into a deep bowl. As it cools, use a stick blender to break up the setting gel. Continue this until the gel is cold and fluid
9
Add the vinegar and sugar whilst still blending. Pass through a fine sieve; you should have a thick fluid gel. Spoon into a piping bag
  • 1 tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
10
To serve, place the watermelon on the plate. Fill the lovage gel with the crab mix and roll over, ensuring it is tightly wrapped
11
Place on top of the watermelon, garnish with flowers
12
Pipe dots of cucumber ketchup and serve
First published in 2015
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Simon Hulstone's aesthetically pleasing and rewarding cuisine can be found in Torquay at The Elephant, which holds a Michelin star.

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