Cornish Crab with Asparagus & Quail Egg

Cornish Crab, Asparagus, Quail Egg
Cornish Crab, Asparagus, Quail Egg

This colourful summer salad is packed full of healthy seasonal vegetables and omega 3 rich crab, to give you a boost of energy on a sluggishly hot day. The dainty quail eggs may look too delicate to offer any real nourishment, but don’t be fooled, their nutritional value is three times that of a chicken’s egg.  A pinch of orange zest and some fragrant herbs help to keep each mouthful fresh and vibrant.

Buying and cooking a live crab may seem daunting but it is actually very straightforward. Choose a lively one that’s heavy for its size. Place it in the freezer for 20 minutes to put it to sleep. Fill a large pot with water, adding enough salt to resemble sea water, and bring to the boil. Cook the crab for 15 minutes for the first 500g adding an extra minute for every additional 100g. Remove from the water and leave to cool.

Twist off the legs and claws and crack open with a small hammer. Pick out the white meat with a lobster pick or the handle of a tea spoon. Place the crab on its back and pull apart the main shell from the body. Discard the feather-like gills and scoop out the brown meat for another dish. Now sit down, pour a glass of wine, and patiently remove all the white crab meat that you can get to; chopping the body as and when you see fit to get at the precious meat. Go through all the meat you collect to ensure there is no residual shell.

Crab & Broad Bean Salad with Radish & Soft Boiled Quail Egg – serves 2

Preparation time 1 ½ hours
Cooking time – 30 minutes

1 crab – about 1kg in weight – cooked as above
4 spears of asparagus – peeled & trimmed
handful of broad beans
2 quail eggs
1 radish – finely sliced
mixed salad leaves – watercress, mustard leaf, frisee
summer herbs – chives, marjoram, coriander cress
pinch orange zest
mustard vinaigrette

  • Place the quail eggs in boiling water & cook for 90 seconds. Turn off the heat & leave the eggs in the hot water for a further 90 seconds. Remove & plunge into cold water. Once cold carefully peel off the shell.
  • Cook the asparagus & beans in boiling water for 2minutes. Refresh in cold water. Peel the broad beans & cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces.
  • Place the salad leaves and herbs in a large bowl. Add the crab, vegetables, herbs, zest & dressing.  Toss together & season to taste.
  • Plate up and decorate with the radish
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