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Spider Crab Thermidor

Spider Crab Thermidor
Image | Chrissie Laming, Newquay Voice © Copyright | Newquay Fish Festival


One cooked spider crab
Crème fraiche
One pinch of English mustard powder
Glug of brandy
Chopped herbs 
Grated cheddar
Equipment required: 
A good hammer, 
cheese grater,
fan oven,
Crab picking tools 
and some determination


Sanjay Kumar created this dish to promote Newquay Fish Festival. Thanks to the organisers of the festival for letting us feature the recipe here! 
Amongst the catch of Newquay's traditional harbour, spider crab is the unsung hero. 
Landed in their masses, spider crabs, are caught using pots, and mainly shipped off to Spain. 
My recipe here is to inspire generations to be adventurous and enjoy the delicacy of locally landed seafood. If one is not sure about preparing crab, there is always a friendly fisherman or two, to hand pick the best bits out for you. The following recipe serves two. 
Method: Hand pick the meat and clean the shell ready for use as a serving bowl. 
Mix the crab meat with cremefraiche, or you can use a bechamel sauce (white sauce),
Add a pinch of English mustard powder, add a glug of good brandy and mix well.
Fold in the chopped herbs and spoon the crab mixture into the shell.
Top the crab mix with grated cheddar and bake in a pre heated oven for 15 minutes.
Serve the thermidor hot, with char grilled lemon wedges and lots of bread. Belissimo!!!
Sanjay Says: Preparing and using a béchamel sauce, often helps enhance the flavour of the dish, along with a pinch of smoked paprika.
Newquay Fish Festival is a great chance to experience Cornwalls seafood - in 2017 the festival is being held on the 8th, 9th and 10th of September. 


Cornish King Crab

Gill Netting

Cornish Waters

Gill nets are efficient for catching spider crabs when they are on the move across the seabed. As they get so badly tangled the quality sometimes suffers and gill nets can have issues with accidental by catch of other non target species.


Cornish waters

Pots are low impact and selective. Undersized catch can be returned safely and the pots don't damage the seabed.

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