I got crabs on my mind.

So here’s a clip of something I wrote for Borough Market.

Click on the link at the end to see the rest of the article, including instructions for killing, cooking and picking a crab. Which is something everyone should do, even if it’s just to appreciate the convenience of buying pre-prepared meat.

A quick straw poll of the room I’m in concluded that the stall most likely to be looked at in wonder, but rarely bought from, is the fishmonger’s.

That I’m the only person in the room is particularly telling – I’ve spent weeks and weeks scaling, gutting and filleting fish and cracking open seafood, yet still don’t buy enough of the stuff. And of all the things I nearly buy but don’t, the crab is the one I wished I got my wallet out for more often.

The Challenge

I think crabs are a superb example of daunting market ingredients that, actually, everyone should have a go at buying and cooking. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Go along to Furness Fish and Game stall the middle of the Market and see how the crabs sit … and shuffle in the display. This is as fresh as you can get – i.e. alive!
  • Right now British crabs are very in season.
  • Crabs are easy to cook. Just plop in a stock pot (see finer details below) for about 20 minutes. Et voila.
  • They’re also a bit of a fiddle to then get the goods out of. But it’s more time consuming than difficult and, importantly, great challenges come with great rewards; I always think you enjoy and appreciate food most when you’ve worked for it.
  • Buying, cooking and picking your own crab, is a great way of understanding the value of the pots of prepared meat on the counter. It’s definitely cheaper and more fun to get a whole crab. But once you’ve done so, you also appreciate that for the prepared pots, some poor soul has had to pick all that lovely meat. Their time and your time is valuable!

Really, you should give it a go. There are few things more satisfying and educational than getting to the end of a battle with a crab and its claws …”

Click here to read the rest of the post on the Borough Market website.