Ivan Allen’s Dressed Crab

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • About

When I first came to Ballymaloe my father-in-law always prepared the dressed crab for dinner. This is his recipe and very delicious it is too.


  • 425 g crab meat, brown and white mixed (2 or 3 crabs should yield this – for cooking method; keep shells intact for later)
  • 85–100 g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2–2½ tablespoons ripe tomato chutney
  • 30 g butter
  • generous pinch of dry mustard or 1 level teaspoon French mustard
  • 175–250 ml béchamel sauce
  • salt and freshly ground pepper



Scrub the crab shells, mix all the ingredients except the buttered crumbs together, taste carefully and correct the seasoning. Fill into the shells and sprinkle the tops with the buttered crumbs. (The dish may be prepared ahead to this point and refrigerated for 1–2 days or frozen.)

Bake in a moderate oven, 180°C/350°F/Gas 4, until heated through and brown on top (approximately 15–20 minutes). Flash under the grill if necessary to crisp the crumbs.