Preparation info

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Appears in


By Ben Shewry

Published 2012

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  • 1 x 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) live spanner crab, chilled (see crustaceans*)
  • 4 ml grape seed oil
  • lemon juice, white wine vinegar and table salt, to taste


When ready to serve, kill the crab by inserting a knife into the head of the crab. This is the most humane way to kill a crab I know of if carried out properly. Once killed, separate the crab legs from the body. Place the crab legs and body into a steamer. Steam the legs and claws for 5 minutes, then remove. Steam the body for 15 minutes. (Cooking times may vary a little depending on the weight of the crab.) Once cooked, cool at room temperature for 20 minutes, then chill completely in the refrigerator for 1½ hours. Once chilled, pick the crabmeat from the legs, claws and body.

When ready to serve, lightly dress with the oil, a few drops of lemon juice, vinegar and salt.