• 1 large crab weighing 1kg( 2 ½ lb), yielding 450g(1lb) meat

  • 4 cloves garlic, slivered

  • 1 tsp small dried chillies or 2 fresh chillies, de-seeded and chopped

  • 150ml olive oil

  • 1 small glass brandy

  • Salt


  • 1.

    If your crab is alive, bring it gently to the boil in plenty of salted water. Allow 15 minutes for the first pound and 10 minutes for each subsequent pound.

  • 2.

    Pick all the meat out of the shell and claws: the only non-edible bits are the mouth-piece and the feathery grey gills, the ‘dead man’s fingers’. Heat the oil in a shallow pan until faint blue haze rises. Add the garlic and chillies and fry for a moment. Stir in the crabmeat and the brandy. Allow all to bubble up fiercely to evaporate the alcohol. Serve immediately.

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