Selsey Crabcakes with Pea and Hampshire Watercress Purée

Carol Godsmark's wonderfully tasty crab cakes are made using Selsey crabs and served with a delicious watercress purée - a real feast of south east English flavour
Selsey Crabcakes with Pea and Hampshire Watercress Purée
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus up to 12 hrs marinating
  • Effort: medium


For the crabcakes

  • 450 g Selsey or other fresh white crab meat
  • 50 g breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp fish sauce, (nam pla)
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lime, juice and zest
  • flour, for dusting
  • 55 g unsalted butter, and 2 tsp olive oil for frying

For the purée

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 200 g frozen peas, (petits pois for extra sweetness)
  • 250 ml fish stock, or vegetable stock
  • 120 g watercress, strip leaves and tender shoots from the bunch
  • 2-3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt, or crème fraiche

Tips and Suggestions

You can use crab other than the Selsey but do choose only the best, freshest crabmeat. Orkney crabmeat is also highly recommended. Tinned or frozen isn't suitable for this recipe.


1. To make the crabcakes; mix the crabmeat and breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl.

2. Stir together the egg, mayonnaise, fish sauce, herbs and lime and add to the crab mixture.

3. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Shape into 8 small cakes and chill, covered, for at least 1 hour or overnight for the flavours to develop.

5. Dust the crab cakes with flour.

6. Melt the butter and olive oil in a frying pan and when hot, cook the crab cakes for 3-4 minutes on each side. turning once.

7. To make the purée; heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the spring onions until soft.

8. Add the peas and stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

9. Add the watercress, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute.

10. Liquidize the mixture in a food processor or blender.

11. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then add the yogurt or crème fraiche.

12. Serve the crab cakes as a as a starter or with new potatoes as a main course.

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