Like the kimchi avocado lunch wrap, this is also a bit briny, punchy and crispy. But completely different. And no need to do any advance prep, or visit an Asian market. In fact this throw-it-together crunchy, spicy crab parcel is perfect for a busy weekend lunch or light supper.
I know many of you are vegetarians or vegans so I have also come up with a very credible version just for you. Still spicy, crunchy and punchy, but with no crab breath!
My first test batch was actually the vegan, courgette version but they were wolfed down faster than I could snap them (I always snap something new on the off chance that it is a ‘keeper’). The next batch was the crabby ones, and they are just so, so good. I nicked the idea from Jamie Oliver, but of course have given it a food to glow twist. I can’t leave well enough alone ;-).
You will see a salad in some of the images. I had also made a Greek-ish quinoa and lentil salad that I will post next time. It was just delicious with the crab parcels, as well as on its own the next day.
I shan’t babble on like I normally do. Most of my posts breach the 1000 word mark (eek!) so I will practise a little restraint here. Besides, it is the weekend and there is much gardening to do and sunshine for me to revel in before the inevitable rain sluices down.
And speaking of gardening, here are a couple of quick, unedited phone snaps of my edible garden. I’ve got black pak choi, three different types of kale – curly, black and Tuscan, two types of chard – red and rainbow, and an overspilling wooden wine box trying to contain a few ambitious herbs (one of three). Just behind everything is a perennial and out of control lovage plant that will eventually reach five feet (just seen back right). And just off to the side are wild alpine strawberries (still in their infancy as little white flowers), soft spikes of chives, loads of jagged mints – spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint and and pineapple mint (it is feral in my garden), feverfew, nasturtiums, borage (for salads) and a few other bits and bobs, including a gnarly old Victoria plum tree and a cooker-dessert apple cross (i.e., I have no idea what it is. Came with the house).
It sounds like I have loads of garden space but no, just a normal Scottish suburban plot with ‘the sunny patch’ (perhaps a misnomer) crammed to bursting with whatever will grow. If I can just keep the slugs from enjoying it before we do!
Quick and Spicy Crab Parcels (with Vegan Option!)
I’ve borrowed this idea from Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals, reducing the crab (expensive even though it is in season) and adding potatoes, and tossing in some toasted crushed seeds for more floral-spicy punch. You could also use tinned wild salmon.
For vegetarians/vegans, use grated courgettes, squeezing the shreds to remove much of the moisture. Funnily enough these are a good texture sub for crab and complement the other flavours very well. Carrots would work very well too – with a lovely contrasting sweetness. For a pop of colour and a little more fibre you could also add baby peas, or even baby broad beans, to the crab or courgette version.
200g (1 cup) crabmeat (white or mix of brown and white – tinned is fine) OR 200g grated courgette/zucchini, squeezed in a tea towel to remove moisture
300g potato – about 2 medium ones – diced into ½ inch/ 2 cm cubes (thereabouts)
½ preserved lemon (skin only), diced OR zest of whole lemon plus 2 tsp juice
1 tsp each fennel seeds and caraway seeds, lightly toasted in a dry pan and ground in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder
Salt and pepper to taste (depends on the saltiness of your chilli paste)
4 sheets filo pastry (not the gigantic sheets that look like towels!)
1 tbsp mild olive oil or rapeseed oil/canola oil to shallow fry (plus a little extra just in case)
1. Steam/boil the potato cubes until just tender – about 10 minutes. Let air dry for a few minutes before combining with the remaining filling ingredients.
2. Lay a sheet of filo pastry on your work surface and dod one-quarter of the mixture onto the sheet. Pull up the end of the pastry nearest you, then fold in the sides, and roll away from you to close the parcel. There shouldn’t be any need to wet the edges, but do this if you like.
3. Heat the oil in a sauté/frying pan over a medium flame. Add the parcels and cook on both sides until very golden and crisp. Lay on kitchen roll to mop up excess oil.
Serve with salad(s) and something like a yogurt and lemon ‘sauce’, raita (yogurt, chopped cucumber, mint) or even a tomato chutney. This would also make a great appetiser too. Just make strips of the filo pastry, put a heaped teaspoon on one end and roll up as if for samosas.
Link-Ups: I am sending this quick and easy recipe over to the very blooming (with third child and her general all-around beauty!) Ren Behan for her Simple and In Season monthly link-up, as well as to the lovely Mark at Javelin Warrior’s Cookin’ W/ Luv, for the homemade feature Made with Love Mondays. And finally over to Four Seasons Food, jointly hosted by Delicieux and Eat Your Veg. Thanks so much Ren, Mark, Anneli and Louisa for these fab link-ups and shares.