Crab cocktail

Matt Tebbutt's Christmas crab cocktail makes for a perfect festive starter
By Matt Tebbutt
Crab cocktail
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 1 hr for soaking
  • Effort: easy


For the marie rose sauce

  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • dash of tabasco
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 500 ml groundnut oil
  • 2-3 tbsp brandy

For the cocktail

  • 400 g white crab meat
  • 150 g brown crab meat
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp chervil, finely chopped, plus extra for finishing
  • 1 tsp tarragon, finely chopped
  • 1 green apple, chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 bulb of fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 red endive, shredded
  • 1 radicchio, shredded
  • 1 baby gem lettuce, shredded

Tips and Suggestions

Refreshing vegetables in ice colds water makes them go crunchy


For the marie rose sauce

1. Put the egg yolks, mustard, ketchup, Tabasco and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk until well blended. Gradually drizzle the oil in a thin, steady stream into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously until the mixture has thickened. Sharpen with more lemon juice if needed and stir in the brandy.

2. Mix the white crab meat with the juice of half a lemon and the chopped herbs. Combine the brown meat with enough marie rose sauce to moisten. Sharpen with an extra squeeze of lemon. Leave on one side.

For the salad

3. Put the fennel and apple into a large bowl of iced water with a squeeze of lemon. Set aside for 30 minutes to an hour, to make them crunchy. Drain and pat dry using kitchen paper.

4. Toss all the salad leaves with the apple and fennel. Season well and add a squeeze of lemon.

5. Spoon a layer of the brown crab meat at the bottom of 4 goblets or bowls, then add a layer of salad and a drizzle more sauce. Top with the white crab meat. Finish with a sprig of chervil and a few extra red endive leaves if liked.

For more inspiration from the series, take a look at our favourite Perfect... recipes

Rate This Recipe