Fish and seafood Recipes Recipes for special occasions

Spider crab or spider crab au gratin with prawns and pork shoulder

Spider crab or spider crab au gratin with prawns and pork shoulder


  • Hard
  • 45 minutes
  • For 6 people
  • 6.5 € / person

How to prepare a stuffed spider crab . I recently taught you how to cook a spider crab and other seafood   and my advice is to eat the spider crab as is. It is perhaps cooked and well prepared when it is richer, provided it is a quality product. This way you will get the best out of your seafood recipes , with all the sea juice it brings.

Although if you want to surprise your guests with something different this Christmas. Of course this is a recipe to consider, king crab or baked seafood gratin . This recipe can be prepared with all the spider crab. Even taking advantage of the shells of other seafood, such as the ox,  some crab  or simply the shells of  some scallops  to prepare a delicious dish baked gratin, which I am sure you will all like.

It is still a recipe for harvesting seafood that, against all odds, at Christmas always ends up being left over at my mother’s house. The famous legs, claws and other parts that are a little difficult to eat can be used for subsequent meals by adding a few prawns, prawns or prawns to give more flavor to the sea and make a sublime recipe.

In Galicia we call the bicha centola . When one of them turns red there is a typical saying, “you are eating a spider crab” , due to the intense red color with which this freshly cooked crab stays, the masculine term I have never heard it, I do not know why it is not used.

The Galician spider crabs , especially those I have tried in O Grove (Pontevedra), are uglier than the French spider crabs since they usually bring seaweed and other elements that serve to camouflage them. Ugly or not, it is the queen of seafood in terms of flavor, perhaps in texture are Norway lobsters, but they deserve a separate recipe, I’ll tell you about them.

Before cooking, preparation of the base ingredients

This recipe is quite simple, the only step a little laborious is to remove all the meat that is in the spider crab legs. If the raw material is of quality I assure you that the result will be spectacular.

  1. For cooking seafood, I advise you to read the following recipe . From there, we will continue with the preparation of it.
  2. You can even have it stored and frozen so that when the expected lunch or dinner approaches, everything is much easier to prepare.
  3. The cooking water of the shellfish, whether from this spider crab or others, I save for various uses, rice, risottos, stews, fish croquettes. Even for seafood lentils.
  4. It is a perfect broth to enrich your recipes with a fish or seafood base. This time we will use it to give more flavor to the dish with the final preparation that I will explain later.
  5. To complement the spider crab I recommend that you use the seafood that you like the most. They can be prawns or shrimp.
  6. Whether they are one or the other, we thawed them in the fridge the night before. We remove the intestine (the black thread in the center) helping us with a toothpick or with the tip of a knife.
  7. With the toothpick we prick the end of the intestine that is visible and pull it. It should come out whole, as if it were a thread without opening the shrimp, so that it does not lose juice and flavors during the preparation.
  8. It is thrown away because it tastes bitter and can bring sand or the last thing it ate. We dry and reserve.

Preparation of the king crab gratin

  1. Peel and finely chop the onions, there should be very small pieces so that at the end of the preparation they are not appreciated.
  2. If you can chop it in a much better grinder, it will release a lot of water but it will do well in the preparation.
  3. We cut the lacón, either by hand or in a mincer (it is more uniform and we will not find different sizes).
  4. If you can’t find cooked pork, you can do it with ham. Remember that it will give you a higher point of salt so be careful. We reserve on a plate.
  5. We put a casserole on the fire with the extra virgin olive oil and add the onion almost pureed.
  6. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. When it is well poached and with a characteristic toasted color, add the minced pork.
  7. We stir over low heat for 1 minute, it does not burn or it will spoil the base of the recipe.
  8. Add the glass of white wine, stirring occasionally so that the alcohol evaporates. We cook for 10 minutes over low heat, if you like the touch of parsley it is time to add it.
  9. We are going to give it a little consistency with two tablespoons of flour. We remove all the mixture with a wooden spoon until it is well integrated.
  10. Add a glass of the crab cooking water and let it reduce to the fire until it has a creamy texture.
  11. Salt if necessary, although it is not normally necessary to add salt because of the lacón.
  12. Next we add the prawns and the crab meat (the one that we have cleaned from the legs, from the cells).
  13. We stir carefully, wait a couple of minutes more with the fire turned off until all the seafood is well impregnated with the cream, it will finish doing everything in the oven.

Oven and presentation of stuffed spider crab

  1. Finally we preheat the oven to 200º C.
  2. For the presentation you can use the crab stuffed and gratin. It will give you more, you can also use scallop shells. Or the round clay containers that you will find in any kitchenware store.
  3. Fill the spider crab that we have clean and empty halfway.
  4. We place the rest of the seafood cream in the scallop shells or in the clay containers. We sprinkle the surface with a thin layer of breadcrumbs.
  5. The breadcrumb layer will keep all the juices and sea flavor. To help gratin we will put a few squares of butter.
  6. We put everything in the middle tray at 180º C for about 10 minutes. Until it looks like the golden tone of the presentation photo.
  7. Stay tuned in this final step and be careful not to burn yourself.
  8. We serve immediately hot and fresh from the oven on a plate. Do not burn us and enjoy.

Be sure to enjoy all the recipes for fish and seafood that we have on the blog. You can see all the photos of the step by step in the next album.

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