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Crab and Asparagus on Toast

01 July 2020 at 12:01

Matt's Crab on Toast with Asparagus                 

Serves 4

1 large cock crab

For the cured egg yolk

1 egg yolk

100g flake sea salt

50g caster sugar

For the wild garlic oil

100g wild garlic, plus a little chopped, or chopped garlic clove

100g vegetable oil 

For the asparagus

12 spears asparagus

Extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon 

For the crab mayonnaise

1 egg yolk

½ tsp Dijon mustard

2tsp chardonnay vinegar

100g vegetable oil


2 thick slices of sourdough

Exmoor Cornish Salted Caviar (optional)

Egg yolk


Mix the salt and sugar, and sprinkle 1/3 of the mix into a ramekin. Carefully separate the yolk from the egg and place on the cure in the middle of the ramekin. Cover with the remainder of the cure and leave in a cool place for 48 hours. Wash off quickly in cold water, blot dry and keep on parchment paper.


Have your fishmonger kill your crab for you – it is important you purchase your crab the day you wish to cook it. Bring a pot of water big enough to submerge your crab to the boil. Drop the crab in and turn off the heat. Allow to cool to a temperature you can handle, then remove from the water. Crack the claws and knuckles, removing the white meat. Remove the brown meat from the body, and put in a small bowl.

Crab mayonnaise

Add the egg yolk to the reserved brown crab meat. Using an immersion blender, quickly incorporate the mustard and vinegar. Add a small pinch of salt, and then slowly emulsify the vegetable oil into the mixture, blending and stirring all the time. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice.

Garlic oil

Keep 3 nice leaves back for chopping. Put the rest into a blende jug with the vegetable oil. Blend hard for 30 seconds, then strain through muslin or a j-cloth.


Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Trim the leaves from the asparagus stalks and lightly peel. Blanch the prepared spears until just tender, then remove from the water and plunge into an ice bath. When completely cold, drain well. Warm a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a small frying pan and add the asparagus. Using a microplane, grate the zest of the lemon over and lightly season. Roll the asparagus to evenly coat with the glaze and keep warm.

To assemble

Finely chop your reserved wild garlic leaf, and fold through the white crab meat with a generous spoonful of the crab mayonnaise, and adjust seasoning with salt, milled black pepper and lemon juice.

Lightly toast the sourdough and cut in half. Drizzle with some wild garlic oil, and spoon the crab mix on top. Lay the asparagus alongside the toast, and microplane the cured egg yolk over the whole plate. Garnish with wild garlic flowers, wild garlic oil and a good spoonful of Exmoor Cornish Salted Caviar.