5 orange segments, peel and pith removed and diced
salt and pepper
for crab stock
500g shore crabs or velvet crabs
rapeseed oil for cooking
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
4 ripe tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
zest and juice of ½ orange
water to cover
rapeseed oil for frying
For the Crab Stock (Makes approx. 250ml). Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Place live crabs in freezer for 30 minutes to put them into a coma Put the crabs on a roasting tray and roast for 45 minutes. Turn over half way through. This is very important if they catch/burn it will make stock go bitter. While crabs are roasting prepare stock vegetables.
Heat a large pan over a medium heat, warm a little rapeseed oil and sweat the onion, carrot, garlic for 5 minutes until lightly coloured. Add the roughly diced tomatoes and chopped orange zest and heat through for 5 minutes and then stand aside until crabs are done. Once the crabs are roasted, add them directly to the pan with vegetables. You can also add your crab shells from your Picked Crab. Pour on enough water to cover and add the orange juice. Bring to a simmer and skim off any impurities. Reduce that to a simmer for up to 1 hour. Strain through a sieve into another pan. Simmer and reduce by half. Remove from the heat. The stock is now ready to use. (You can store in the fridge for up to 2 days or freeze for 1 month).
Crab picking: Remove legs and claws. Remove head shell. Pick away dead man’s fingers. Scrap out any brown meat from head shell. Use teaspoon to scrape it all out. Mush up a little and put to one side until you make sauce.
Crack thigh part of legs and remove meat, save the bottom part for the stock. Cut body/purse in half and remove white and/or brown meat from body channels. Save all shells for stock.
Snap crab claw in two and using heel of knife crack claw open. Try and only get one crack in cartilage or shell – take your time and be very careful. Need to be firm with claws- hold knife and give good hit as if hit too gently shell will smash everywhere. Pick white crab meat. Take the top part of the crab claw, put Crab Pick in and snap open and scrape out white meat.
Throw all saved crab shells into stock.
For the Crab Mayonnaise: Use good quality rapeseed oil and really good fresh eggs. Whisk together the lemon juice and egg yolk and zest in a bowl with whisk. Slowly add the oil drip by drip, whisking constantly. Keep moving eggs as you don’t want to add too much as you don’t want to split. Once you have emulsion you can speed up.
Add pinch of salt. Pick off tarragon leaves and chop. Add half the mayonnaise to the white crab meat and one teaspoon of tarragon. Add a touch of brown crab – a teaspoon – it balances out flavour.
Pop into fridge until needed.
For the Crab Sauce: Put four spoonfuls of the mayonnaise in a small saucepan. Add two teaspoons of brown crab meat. Thin down with the crab stock. Heat up at last minute before you plate up. Put sauce through small sieve and use sieved sauce when plating up.
For the Fennel : Chop top off fennel. Keeping core in, cut into wedges. Trim up so you get a nice shape. Discard any excess. Keep aside until ready to cook at end.
Heat an oven to 180C. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of oil. When hot add the fennel wedges and cook for 1 minute on each side until golden. Season with salt and pepper then transfer the fennel wedges onto an oven tray. Place in the oven for up to 10 minutes – keep an eye on it.
When you take fennel out of oven, add prepared sea purslane and samphire the hot tray and leave until plating.
For the Salmon: Meanwhile, wipe down your ovenproof non-stick frying pan and add a drizzle of oil and put on a medium heat. When hot, place the salmon fillet, skin side down, in the pan and season with salt. Cook until the skin starts to turn golden, then transfer to the oven to cook for 6 minutes – but checking as you go.
Remove the salmon from the oven and flip it over. It will finish cooking in the heat of the pan.
For the Sea Vegetables: Plug in deep fat fryer to 180 to heat.
Peel orange with knife. Segment orange making sure that there is no pith in the pieces. Follow the natural lines of the orange to get really nice segments.
Picking sea vegetables: Pick leaves off sea purslane. Trim off woody bits from Samphire. Wash out gutweed, making sure to remove any sand particles or shell bits and dry it very carefully. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or heavy based pan to 180C. Taking care, drop the gutweed in. Make sure it is properly dried or else oil will spit. Deep fry for 1-2 minutes, or until it stops popping. Drain onto kitchen paper. Add to the hot fennel tray when it comes out of oven.
To Serve: Turn salmon over at this stage and let it finish off in pan.
Add fennel to base of bowl, reserving one piece for final display. Warm crab sauce through until you see steam rising. Take off heat and pour through small sieve. Sauce is now ready. Pour it around the fennel. Spoon the crab mayonnaise onto fennel and place salmon alongside. Place samphire and sea purslane around fish and add gutweed. Add orange pieces as final touches.