Fire-Cracking Sweet & Sour chilli South Devon Crab

Fire-Cracking Sweet & Sour chilli South Devon Crab

This is a great simple dish, packed with flavour and works really well with the wonderful South Devon crab.  The fragrance of Asian herbs enthuse me every time to want to go and cook shellfish and although there is a lot of flavour in this dish it doesn’t overpower the taste and texture of the crab.  You could also do this recipe with lobster or with monkfish.  Enjoy!

Serves 2


1 cooked crab, weighing about 
450g Vegetable oil 
1 small onion, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 
1in ginger root, finely sliced, skin left on 
A few spring onions, cut into chunks 
2 hot red chillies, sliced – seeds in if you’re brave! 
50g sugar 
100ml white wine vinegar 
1 tablespoons fish sauce 
Juice of 1 limes 
A handful of fresh coriander, chopped 
A good handful of basil leaves, Thai preferably


Open the crab, remove the dead man’s fingers and the stomach sack and cut the body into four. Heat some vegetable oil in a pan and quickly fry the onions and garlic, then add ginger, spring onions and chilli, until just softened but still crisp. Add the sugar and stir in, then the vinegar and the fish sauce and taste. The flavour should be sweet and sour – add either sugar or vinegar to balance. Add the crab pieces in and stir until well coated with sauce. Add the lime juice, coriander and basil, stir again. Either, serve this straight from the pan or, put into a hot oven and bake for 5 minutes so the sauce becomes sticky on the shells of the crab.