Ravinder Bhogal’s crab recipes

Crabs are plentiful all around the coast of the UK, and to buy a punnet of freshly picked, plump, sustainably sourced local crabmeat, where all the hard work has been done for you, is a joy. They put most of their energy into breeding during the colder months, so, although you can buy crab all year round, they are at their best right now. The buttery sweetness of their flesh has a friendly affinity with a wide variety of flavours, but I have a particular affection for it paired with punchy ones from across Asia.

Crab and soba noodles with miso butter (pictured above)
The miso butter adds an umami richness to the slippery noodles – this also works well with spaghetti, for a wonderful culture-blending dish.

Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

200g soba noodles
Salt
100g Chinese cabbage, shredded
2 Persian cucumbers, julienned or spiralised
3 spring onions, finely sliced
250g sustainably sourced picked white crabmeat
2 tbsp finely chopped chives
Juice of 1 lime
Toasted sesame seeds, to serve

For the miso butter
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp grated ginger
60g white shiro miso
A few drops sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Cook the noodles in a large saucepan of simmering salted water according to packet directions, until just tender. Drain, rinse under cold running water to cool and separate the noodles, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the cabbage, cucumber and spring onions, and toss to combine.

For the miso butter, heat a small saucepan over a high heat, add the butter and heat until foaming. Add the ginger and miso, stir until fragrant, then add the sesame oil and soy, and stir again to combine.

Add the crabmeat to the miso butter and cook gently until just heated through, then stir in the chives and lime juice to taste. Spoon the crab mix all over the noodles, scatter over the sesame seeds, toss and serve.

Indian crab, apple and puffed rice salad

This is a playful take on bhel puri, a wildly eventful little Indian roadside snack that is a tangle of tastes and textures. It responds very well to the addition of sweet flecks of crab.

Prep 25 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 4

250g sustainably sourced picked white crabmeat
50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, finely sliced
1 banana shallot, peeled and very finely sliced into crescents
½ bramley apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
10 radishes, finely sliced
1 handful mint leaves
1 handful coriander leaves
50g puffed rice or sev mamra

For the green chutney
1 bunch mint, picked
1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
50g raw mango, roughly chopped
1 green chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
1 tsp chaat masala
1 tbsp tamarind concentrate
Juice of 1 lime
½ tsp caster sugar
Sea salt, to taste

To make the green chutney, blitz the mint, coriander, mango and chilli in a small blender, then add the crushed cumin, chaat masala and tamarind. Adjust the seasoning with lime juice, sugar and salt to taste, and loosen the mixture with a little water, if necessary.

Combine the crab, peanuts, chilli, shallot, apple, radishes and herbs in a bowl, then add a few tablespoons of the green chutney and toss to bind. Add the puffed rice, toss again and serve immediately.