Crab Croquettes

MTV boyfriend is a hoarder. He believes that it is necessary to keep two pairs of ski boots in our tiny London apartment. His new pair and his old pair that he hasn’t used since he got the new boots but just in case something happens to the new boots. I am of the more brutal use it or lose it (by which I mean donate to charity) school of thought. Except of course when it comes to food magazines. I pore through them when they are delivered but then I love to hoard them in the vain hope I will use them one day although the sad truth of the matter is that according to my use it or lose it test I should have thrown them out ages ago. So in the spirit of making the most of my stockpile of food magazines I decided to make a light lunch of crab croquettes based on a recipe in an old issue of Olive magazine.


This is a simple to make recipe as long as you remember to set aside time for chilling the mixture. A combination of brown and white crab meat works well and is more economical than using purely white crab meat. Another useful tip is to use Panko (a type of Japanese breadcrumbs available from Asian groceries or online) rather than normal breadcrumbs if you can as Panko is dryer and won’t go soggy from the moisture of the crab meat mixture. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a simple green salad in order not to overpower the flavour of the croquettes. Alternatively, serve as part of a tapas feast as they do in Spain.




25g butter
2 shallots finely diced
40g plain flour
350ml milk
1/2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp English mustard
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
300g mixture of brown and white crab meat
2 eggs beaten
100g panko or fine breadcrumbs

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan on low heat and fry the shallots until golden brown.

2. Stir in the flour and then gradually whisk in the milk until the sauce thickens and is lump free. Continue stirring and cook over a low heat for 5 mins.

3. Stir in the tomato paste, mustard, nutmeg and salt and pepper to season.

4. Take off the heat and stir in the crab meat and once cool refrigerate the mixture for at least one hour while covered with cling film.

5. Once cooled use two dessert spoons to form the mixture into quenelles (small oval shapes) you should be able to make about 15 quenelles.

6. Place the beaten eggs in one bowl and the Panko or breadcrumbs in another. Once each quenelle is made carefully dip it in the eggs to coat and then roll in the Panko mixture. Set aside on a baking tray. At this point you could chill the croquettes until you are just about to serve them.

7. Fill a frying pan with 1cm of sunflower oil and heat to 180 degrees or for about three minutes. Be careful that the pan does not get too hot and start spitting oil.

8. Use a slotted spoon to lower the quenelles into the oil cooking in small batches so that the pan is not overcrowded. Make sure you turn the quenelles so that all sides are golden brown and the filling melts into a soft, creamy sauce. Drain on kitchen towel until all quenelles are cooked and then serve.

Makes 15. Serves four as a light lunch or more as a round of tapas. Adapted from a recipe in Olive magazine April 2009. My contribution to Waiter There’s Something I My… Tapas.


If you liked reading this you might like reading about the tapas on offer at El Pirata Detapas in Bayswater. Or if you are after a tapas recipe try this one for roasted figs with prosciutto and goats cheese.


  1. I really like the sound of these. I love crab in all forms but haven’t had it with a crispy coating, I can imagine it working really well.

    I’m exactly the same as you when it comes to food magazines, I’ve mostly stopped buying them now because I’ve run out of room. Of course I could just snip out the recipes I like couldn’t I?!

  2. yum yum yum! i can imagine eating far too many of those.

  3. These just scream ‘cold beer’ to me!

    Excellent recipe, and they look very good.

    My kids would love them (minus the beer, of course…)

  4. Dribble-a-rama! These look fantastic.

  5. Ginger – That is exactly my new resolution – cutting out the good recipes – we will see whether like most resolutions it actually lasts longer than a few days!

    Kiss my spatula – they were quite delicious

    Them apples – cold beer or chilled glass of white wine I think – cordial for the kids

    Lizzie – thanks

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