Spider Crab in Tomato Glaze

Credit: Didier Loire
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Ingredients (4 people)

Spider Crab

  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 sprig dried fennel
  • black pepper
  • coarse salt

Crab Jus

  • 1 3/4 ounces carrots (50 g)
  • 1 3/4 ounces white onions (50 g)
  • 1 3/4 ounces leeks (50 g)
  • 1 3/4 ounces fennel (50 g)
  • 1 1/3 lbs very ripe tomatoes (600 g)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 ounces tomato paste (60 g)
  • 10 coriander seeds
  • 1 sprig wild fennel
  • 2 cups light chicken stock (50 cl)
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil (2 cl)
  • 3 1/2 ounces butter (100 g)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 3 1/2 fluid ounces white wine (10 cl)

Roasted Tomatoes and Tomato Juice

  • 2 lbs ripe vine tomatoes (1 kg)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (5 cl)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch basil



Step 1: Spider Crab

Separate the legs from the rest of the crabs. Keep the roe contained in the crabs and 4 of the shells to be used for the crab jus. Keep the 4 smallest shells for the presentation.

Cook the crabs in a court-bouillon made up of the lemon, fennel, black pepper, and salt. Simmer the legs for 3 minutes and the bodies for 12 minutes, making sure to put the crabs in head-first. Drain and shell carefully to avoid breaking the meat inside.

Step 2: Crab Jus

Peel, wash and dice the carrots, onion, leek, and fennel into a large brunoise.

Quarter the reserved crab shells, keeping the roe aside. Sauté the shells in olive oil in a cast-iron pot over a high heat. As soon as they start to brown, add 1 3/4 ounces (50 g) of butter. Lightly caramelize.

Add the diced vegetables, sweat without browning, and add the sliced tomatoes, tomato paste, crushed garlic, and the quartered lemon. Cook until tender, deglaze with white wine, cover with light chicken stock, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the basil, coriander, and the wild fennel, and infuse off the heat for 20 minutes, then strain everything through a fine meshed chinois and reduce slightly.

Thicken with 1 3/4 ounces of butter, some olive oil, and the crab roe. Be careful not to let the jus come to a boil.

This recipe was originally published in "Culinary Encyclopedia by Alain Ducasse" (Éditions Alain Ducasse). See all credits

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