Crab Thermidor

Carla Lagan Brown has come up trumps with this easy but indulgent shellfish recipe, creating an impressive alternative to the more traditional lobster thermidor
Crab Thermidor
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes -45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 135 g butter
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 200 g fresh white breadcrumbs, (see cooks notes)
  • 35 g plain flour
  • 90 ml full fat milk
  • 175 g clotted cream
  • 225 g cooked peeled prawns, (small ones, not tiger prawns)
  • 450 g cooked white crab meat
  • 50 g parmesan, freshly grated

Tips and Suggestions

For the breadcrumbs, use a nice day or two-old loaf and blitz in a food processor or blender. To make this recipe with lobster, use cooked lobster in place of the prawns and add a splash (about 1 tbsp) of brandy to the sauce. These freeze really well - when assembled but before the grilling stage, cool, cover with cling film and freeze. Thaw, microwave on HIGH for 1 minute and then grill before serving.


1. Melt 75g of the butter in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook gently over a very low heat until softened but not browned, stirring occasionally. This will take about 20-30 minutes to get them really soft and melting.

2. Whilst the onions are cooking, take another frying pan and melt the rest of the butter. Add the breadcrumbs and cook over a low heat, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.

3. When the onions are ready, stir in the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk, then return to the heat and cook for a minute or two, stirring, until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the clotted cream. Season with salt and a little pepper. Add the prawns and crab meat, mixing gently to keep some lumps of crab.

4. Preheat the grill to medium. Spoon the crab mixture into 6 clean scallop shells (or individual flameproof serving dishes). Sprinkle each one with some fried breadcrumbs, followed by a good sprinkling of parmesan. Put under the grill for a minute or so until the parmesan has melted. Serve with baby new potatoes and a mixed salad.

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