Crab with dips and dressings

Mat Tebbutt uses small velvet crabs for this special lunch or supper, served with garlic mayonnaise and a spicy, sweet and sour dip
By Matt Tebbutt
Crab with dips and dressings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 15-20 small crab, such as velvet crabs, cooked according to RSPCA standards and kept warm

For the aioli

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely crushed
  • pinch white pepper
  • 250 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice only

For the chilli dipping sauce

  • 4 spring onions, very finely diced
  • 5 cm piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeds removed, very finely chopped
  • 125 ml light soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp peanut or groundnut oil
  • good pinch soft brown sugar, to taste
  • 1 lime, juice only

To serve

  • sourdough, bread
  • few sprigs parsley
  • lemon wedges

Tips and Suggestions

To prevent the aioli curdling, pour the oil in a very slow, steady stream while whisking.

The RSPCA believes that electrical stun is the most humane and effective method for killing crabs, lobsters, crayfish and langoustines. You can find out more about the method here.


1. For the aioli: break the eggs into a bowl, then stir in the garlic and some salt and white pepper. Start to whisk while slowly and gradually pouring in the olive oil. Whisk until all the oil has been added and the sauce is thick. Let it down with enough lemon juice to taste, then set aside.

3. For the chilli dipping sauce: put the spring onions into a bowl, grate in the ginger using a microplane or fine grater, then mix in the garlic and chilli. Stir in the soy sauce and oil along with the sugar and lime juice, making sure everything is well mixed together. Taste and adjusting the flavours as necessary.

4. Serve the crabs whole for your guests to rip apart themselves, with the dips and bread on the side. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

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