The Spider Crab is a well sought after ingredient in many countries. In Asian cuisine the spider crab will be the king of the table at a banquet, in North America Alsakan fishermen will risk their lives to be able to land king spider crabs. They are abundant in Cornish Waters, if you go for a snorkel in the summer they are one of the most likely forms of sea life that you will encounter. However we don’t see them on many menus’s or in many shops here in the UK.
I read a stat that said 95% of spider crabs caught here in Cornwall are exported to abroad. I think that here in the UK we just do not know what do with a spider crab and how to get at it’s meat, there is alot of effort that has to be put into cooking and picking crab meat and even more so for a spider crab. However with them been so abundant on our shores we have the opportunity to be eating one of the jewels of the sea fresh from Cornish Fishing boats . I was lucky enough to come across some already picked spider crab white meat from the Wednesday market in Truro .The Cornish Food Box also had their first Cornish Early’s of the year in their shop along with some loverly looking leeks, so the challenge was on to make the most of this produce.
Spider crab meat is sweeter and more meaty than brown crab. It is not as flaky and white but more dense and succulent. I wanted to make a recipe that would do the crab meat justice, something that would elevate the freshness and sweetness of the crab in an elegant a sophisticated manner.