Velvet crab?

popeye85

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Because of my job I have a almost inexhaustible access to velvet swimming crabs (not sure what they are known as outside the UK). Now to be honest I have only ever known them to be of use as stock but surely there must be a way of utilising the meat in them.
Had anyone ever come across a decent recipe for vc's other then for stock or soup?
 

Morning Glory

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They are much smaller than other crabs I think - but completely edible. I've never eaten them but I reckon you can use them pretty much as you might use any other crabmeat. Its just that its fiddlier to get to the meat.

I'm intrigued - are you a fisherman?
 

Morning Glory

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The Spanish love these crabs and I gather that most of the UK catch is exported to Spain. So maybe we need to look for Spanish recipes?
 

popeye85

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I used to be a fisherman but left the industry a couple years ago but still in close contact with old shipmates so plenty of fresh fish and seafood to be had!
If anyone has some good crab cake recipes then might see how they do with that and how different the meat is.
 

Morning Glory

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I used to be a fisherman but left the industry a couple years ago but still in close contact with old shipmates so plenty of fresh fish and seafood to be had!
If anyone has some good crab cake recipes then might see how they do with that and how different the meat is.
Good idea - I thought I had a crab cake recipe on the forum but I can't find it. There is this recipe which looks rather 'posh' but is in fact crab cakes made into 'bonbons' or little balls.. So you could follow the recipe for the 'bonbons' and simply scale up the ingredients & make them larger and cakes shaped!

Making stock from the crab shells is a wonderful thing to do - so many people simply bin the shells. This recipe also contains instructions for doing that.

https://www.cookingbites.com/threads/crab-bonbons-with-salsify-and-bacon-and-crab-bisque.14625/
 

popeye85

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That looks really good! Will keep the original recipe and see how I get on with it.
Any idea where I could get hold of salsify though? I've never heard of it before.
 

Morning Glory

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That looks really good! Will keep the original recipe and see how I get on with it.
Any idea where I could get hold of salsify though? I've never heard of it before.
Salsify is hard to get in the UK. However, recently Albert Bartlett (of potato fame) have been producing it and its been on sale in Waitrose which I think is where I bought it. Not sure its in season now though. See here:

https://albertbartlett.co.uk/rootveg/salsify

Oddly enough Albert Bartlett are based in Scotland - not that far from you in Airdrie.
 

Morning Glory

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Ok cheers. Failing that is there anything that it could be substituted with?
I'd suggest asparagus as it has a (very slightly) similar mild, mineral flavour. Another vegetable (little used in the UK) which can be fairly easy obtained in tins is 'hearts of palm' - it looks a bit similar & has a subtle taste which works well with shellfish. Green Giant do it (Tesco & other supermarkets)

Screen Shot 2019-09-07 at 15.59.55.png
 

popeye85

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Yes most recipes I have found just boil them then blitz the whole thing and make a bisque out of them due to how fiddly they are to work with but after speaking to a couple people it seems that this is a bit of a waste as the meat is much sweater then normal brown crab.

IMG20190908182852.jpg
 
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Kenmiller

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The velvet crab is know as velvet swimming crab too. It is a largest family of swimming crab found in British coastal waters
 

Wyshiepoo

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We know them in Guernsey as 'Lady Crabs' and they are quite a delicacy to many. My father loves them, as do I but they are damn fiddly to pick.
They are size limited to a minimum of 6.5 cm.
They are vicious little things and can reach your fingers wherever you are holding them unlike other crab who can't get to you if you hold them behind their claws.
 
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