Try our Basque-style crab recipe, then discover our best ever crab recipes including crab mac 'n' cheese, roast new potatoes with chilli crab salsa and crab cakes.

The Red Lion & Sun has been a cornerstone of Highgate, north London, since landlord Heath Ball took over in 2007. The daily-changing menu overseen by head chef Matus Plutko mixes modern dishes like the must-try Korean fried wings with more traditional mains such as the mighty beef cheek and bone marrow pie for two, and the legendary Sunday roasts. The award-winning wine list and frozen margarita cart keep the drinks side of things interesting.

Basque-style crab recipe


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and white parts finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 100ml double cream
  • 300g white crab meat
  • 200g brown crab meat
  • lemon wedges and crostini, to serve


  • 100g panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • STEP 1

    To make the breadcrumbs, put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until just blended.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the leeks and celery, and cook for 20-25 mins or until soft. Add the tomato purée and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, paprika, chilli and tarragon. Cook for couple of minutes to combine the flavours, then add the stock and simmer for 5 mins. Add the cream, season and take off the heat. Add the crab meat to the sauce and mix well, taste and season again if needed.

  • STEP 3

    Spoon into small clean crab shells or gratin dishes and sprinkle with the breadcrumbs. Grill until bubbling and golden. Serve with a wedge of lemon and crostini.

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