food to glow

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spicy crab parcelsAs a tangential follow on from my last recipe, I give you another wrap. Of sorts.

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.

greek lentil and quinoa salad

greek lentil and quinoa salad – recipe coming soon

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).

my edible garden

edible garden at food to glow


red chard on the grow! Almost ready for transplanting

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! spicy crab parcels

Quick and Spicy Crab Parcels (with Vegan Option!)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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)

2-3 tsp harissa paste or other chilli-spice paste (bought or homemade. I will post my recipe soon)

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.

spicy crab parcelsspicy crab parcels

25 thoughts on “Quick and Spicy Crab Parcels (with Vegan Option!)

  1. Looks very attractive!

  2. Jennifer says:

    These look wonderful… and I love your garden! Are those shopping bags that you have some of your plants in?

    1. No, but yes they look like them, don’t they? These are coated fibre bags that came with the self-assembly willow raised beds they are placed in. They won’t rot and we can move the beds around if needs be because of the nifty handles.

  3. cheri says:

    Hi Kellie, your garden looks amazing, I load my little plot chock full of seedlings and little starters as well. The crab wraps sounds wonderful, great combo of ingredients. Happy week-end to you!

    1. You too Cheri! Cheers to us small-time gardeners and home cooks!

  4. These look lovely, I’m going to have to try these myself, they look like they will make good picnic food, and summer has arrived here in England!

    1. I hope you like them! And it is sunny with a warm (!) breeze up here in Edinburgh. Long may it continue across the UK. Have a delicious weekend 🙂

  5. Lesley says:

    Oh! That looks lovely, I have Aly coming for supper on Sunday and may attempt this for her. Good luck to you and A tonight, I really hope you win, you so deserve it 🏆🎉

  6. Good evening honey, i hope you’ve had a beautiful sunny day up there too 🙂 these parcels look lovely, especially the courgette option 👍 and your edible garden looks beautiful, what a treasure! Have a great weekend xx

  7. Filo pastry with ANYTHING is always delicious and I love the sound of crab wraps in a crispy shell like this. These would be perfect for brunches with guests. And a beautiful garden, Kellie – you must have a green thumb as I can barely get my 3 potted plants to stay alive 😉

  8. Great idea! Delicious recipe! I am going give it a try! Your garden is beautiful!

  9. Liz Posmyk of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things says:

    What a lovely garden you have, Kellie!

  10. Sally says:

    I find it impossible to post under 1000 words too Kellie, however yours are entertaining from start to finish. As the only crab lover in my house, the carrot version (vege teen hates courgettes….such a trial) looks perfect.

  11. Delicious!

  12. Urvashi Roe says:

    Love your edible garden. Looks so beautiful as do these parcels. Great midweek idea

  13. narf77 says:

    Bugger! I just spilled my kombucha pina colada on my keyboard…licking it off as I type (emmm boochacolada…) Ok, I am back…Have you thought about using the vegan alternative to pulled pork for this recipe? I haven’t tried it but there are lots of recipes out there for using tinned jackfruit to give a very meaty sort of texture to recipes that would probably suit this one as you could shred it much like the crab. It looks delicious anyhoo. LOVE that garden shot. I just went up to check my garden and came back shell shocked. After a small stint under the bed I may (or may not) recover. Not entirely sure what I am going to do with that tangled mass of half dead pumpkins, still growing tomatoes and white fly but you can be sure that I am going to spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it and very little time “doing” it 😉

    1. Kombucha colada – that sounds very fancy! When I initially read your comment (on the go) I was in fact drinking a kombucha drink with raspberry and elderflower – not homemade though. I am starting to gradually have a soft spot for fermented drinks. As for the jackfruit, I think it must be much more common down your way as I can’t recall seeing it anywhere except in tins. I suggested courgettes because they work well and I got the idea from the vegan ‘crab’ cakes you see in the US. My Mum even used to make them way back in the 70s! But I do like the idea of the jackfruit – a bit exotic 🙂 And good luck sorting your own edible garden. IT is funny to think your main growing season has ended and ours is just getting going. Enjoy the cool weather!

      1. narf77 says:

        The jackfruit that they use in recipes IS in tins. Apparently the tinned fruit works really well as it is somewhat bland and has a texture a bit like pulled pork (once it is shredded) so it does double time as a sort of natural meat sub ;). I am just about to start planting out broad beans. I LOVE them 🙂

      2. Sounds like a great vegan option when fresh alternatives, like courgettes, are out of season. Thanks Fran. Enjoy your planting!

  14. Eat Your Veg says:

    These sound utterly delicious Kellie, both with the crab and courgette options and something I will definitely look forward to trying. So sorry it’s taken me age to get around to reading but thank you so much for linking up to May’s Four Seasons Food challenge.

  15. Alexandra says:

    These look absolutely delicious Kellie! I’ve only recently discovered crab but I really love the flavour and light texture of it so this looks like a perfect summer’s evening dinner that I’ll be trying very soon!

  16. oscardarling says:

    These look absolutely delicious Kellie! I’ve only recently really discovered crab and I love both the fresh flavour and the light texture…this looks like a perfect summer’s dinner to fill you up but not weigh you down 🙂

  17. Bali Tour says:

    Thanks for the recipe
    That look delicious 😀

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