Mitch Tonks’ South Devon Potted Crab Recipe

Celebrate South Devon Crab Month this August by making delicious potted crab. It’s such a simple recipe, and makes a perfect summer dinner starter or picnic lunch. Not sure how to get the meat from a whole crab? Buy it ready done, or watch this video on How To Pick a Crab.

Crab Month is a great excuse to enjoy South Devon crab, one of our county’s most celebrated foods. Throughout August there are crab-tastic events to enjoy, including a Crab Day Street Party in Dartmouth (Aug 4), crabby family eventscompetitions and special crab dishes at top local eateries – visit the South Devon Crab Month page for more details. And it’s not just South Devon that specialises in seafood celebrations: Clovelly in North Devon also holds an annual Lobster and Crab Feast in September.

Crab Recipe Mitch Tonks South Devon Crab Month s

Our recipe comes from seafood expert, writer and chef Mitch Tonks, who’s been involved in South Devon’s crab events since they began. With three Devon seafood restaurants – Rockfish in Dartmouth and Rockfish in Plymouth, and The Seahorse in Dartmouth – Mitch has long supported the idea of making the most of our coast’s fantastic catch.

Find more crab recipes from local chefs

Potted South Devon crab

“This is a classic recipe using a classic method,” says Mitch. “You’ll know why this is so popular as soon as you dig out a delicious spoonful to spread on your toast; the aroma and taste is sensational.”

Serves 4

250g brown crab meat
150 g white crab meat
A splash of cognac
1tsp ground fennel seeds
1 crumbled dried chilli
100g melted butter, plus 50g for pouring on top
A few fennel fronds
The juice and zest of half a lemon

Melt the 100g of butter then stir in both the brown and white crabmeat, cognac, ground fennel seeds, lemon juice and zest, and chilli.

Season (taste to check you’ve got it right), then divide evenly between 4 ramekins.

Melt the remaining 50g of butter, then pour a little over the top of each ramekin.

Sprinkle with the fennel fronds and chill well. Serve with toast made from good quality bread.

© Mitch Tonks