dressed crab

Dressed crab (Crabe farci)

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Boil crab with bay leaves and salt or buy fresh crabmeat to create this essential element in any assiette Creole (Creole platter)


This dressed crab recipe comes from Creole Kitchen by Vanessa Bolosier (Pavilion, £25).

Blue land crab is now a protected species in the French Caribbean and it is only eaten at specific times of the year, but when the hunting season is open there are countless ways of cooking it. For this recipe you can boil sea crabs with bay leaves and salt, then pull out the flesh from the claws and legs; you will also need to wash and sterilise the shell before filling it. To save time, buy crabmeat from a fishmonger’s.



  • baguette 70g (about ¼ of a baguette), slightly stale 
  • semi-skimmed milk 3 tbsp
  • spring onions 2, roughly chopped
  • onion 1, chopped
  • garlic 3 cloves
  • flat-leaf parsley 2 sprigs
  • thyme 1 sprig, leaves picked
  • red habanero or scotch bonnet ) ½ chilli, seeded
  • butter 2 tbsp
  • mixed crabmeat 175g, shredded
  • lime 1, juiced
  • fine dried breadcrumbs 3 tbsp
  • lime wedges to serve


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Soak the baguette in the milk for 10 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Put the spring onions, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, and chilli in a food processor and blend until very finely chopped.

  • Step 3

    Melt the butter in a frying pan.Add the chopped onion mixture and cook for a minute.Add the crabmeat and lime juice and cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

  • Step 4

    Squeeze the milk out of the bread. Put the bread in a food processor and blend to a purée.Add the bread to the crab. Put the pan over a medium heat and cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring regularly so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Season and remove from the heat.

  • Step 5

    Put the stuffing in small ramekins (if you used a whole crab, fill the cleaned shell with the stuffing) and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over. Put in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden. Serve hot, on its own, or with salad.