Fish and seafood recipes

Txangurro to the Donostiarra. Stuffed spider crab

Txangurro to the Donostiarra. Stuffed spider crab


  • Half
  • 60 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 5.5 € / person
  • 255kcal per 100g.

How to make txangurro a la Donostiarra or stuffed spider crab .

Within what we call traditional cuisine , we include those lifelong dishes that are part of the gastronomic repertoire of each country or region, and which are its hallmark.

The usual thing in these dishes is that their origin is not known, much less their creator. The recipe seafood today is an exception to the rule, know who and when one of the most traditional Basque cuisine dishes dela was created, the txangurro .

The appearance of txangurro a la donostiarra, was a gastronomic revolution in Spanish cuisine in the early 20th century. Chef Félix Ibarguren, Shishíto , created this dish with one of the sacred products of Basque gastronomy, the txangurro, or spider crab that was always eaten cooked and tasted with the hands.

It was also a great daring to create a variation of one of the most important dishes in Belle Epoque cuisine, American style lobster .

Félix adapted the recipe for lobster with American sauce to this product, creating a dish that would go directly to being classified within haute cuisine. At that time everything important on a gastronomic level had a French accent, including Basque cuisine.

At the beginning of the century, in 1901 the first cooking academy in Spain was inaugurated, located in the Palace of Fine Arts in Donostia. This was the panorama of new concerns and appreciation of gastronomy when Shishíto devised this dish.

It is a laborious recipe due to having to remove all the meat from the animal. This process can take some time so it is best to arm yourself with patience just to enjoy a gastronomic wonder like this.

Before starting the recipe. The Txangurro or Centolla

  1. Cook the txangurro in a saucepan with well salted water. We will cook it for about 10 or 11 minutes for each kg. from txangurro. Drain and let it temper to remove its meat.
  2. To get the crab meat, the first thing we have to do is arm ourselves with patience, it will take us time to release the pieces of meat from between the ribs of its head and the shell of its legs.
  3. We begin by removing the legs and, with a nutcracker or a hammer, we break its shell to reach the meat. We open our heads taking care not to lose the broth inside with all the meat it carries.
  4. On the one hand we remove the meat from the shell and mix it with its broth, we reserve it.
  5. On the other hand we are removing the lamellae that separate the meat flakes until we manage to remove it all.

Preparation of the filling and baking. Final presentation of the Txangurro to the donostiarra

  1. In a saucepan, fry the onion and leek, cut into small cubes. Cook the vegetables until they are very soft, for about 20 minutes over medium heat.
  2. Add the txangurro meat that we have reserved and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and the cognac. Cook a few more minutes until the alcohol has evaporated and the mixture is reduced.
  3. Add the broth and the meat of the spider crab head, mix well and taste the point of salt. It could be that we don’t need to add any, the seafood itself will already add its salty point. We cook for a few minutes and remove from the heat.
  4. Fill the heads of the txangurros with the filling that we have prepared and cover with breadcrumbs.
  5. We place some butter cubes on top of each one and, with the oven previously heated to 190º C, bake for about 10 minutes, until a golden surface is formed in each spider crab.
  6. We serve the txangurros a la Donostiarra sprinkled with parsley and finely chopped.

It is a luxurious recipe that is well worth the effort it takes. If you want to surprise yours, of course this is your recipe, a delicious dish.

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe from Txangurro to Donostiarra . Do not miss any detail so that it comes out perfect.

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