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Warm potted Cromer crab with Norfolk samphire in a caper sauce, poached duck egg on toast and crabcakes


For the crabcakes
For the potted crab
For the samphire
For the poached duck egg on toast
For the lemon mayonnaise

Preparation method

  1. For the crabcakes, mix together the crabmeat, parsley, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, beaten egg yolk, crème fraîche, lemon zest and juice until well combined.

  2. Mix in the breadcrumbs (add just enough to bind the mixture together) and mix well. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pinch off balls of the mixture and shape into walnut-sized balls, then flatten out to make cakes.

  3. Dredge the crab cakes in the flour, then dip into the beaten egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Place the crab cakes on a baking tray lined with silicon paper, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for one hour.

  4. Meanwhile, for the potted crab, preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Grease four small dariole moulds and line with a layer of heatproof cling film.

  5. Separate the white and brown meat from the crab and set aside in separate bowls.

  6. Heat the butter in a pan until foaming, then pass the melted butter through a fine strainer. Discard the scum left behind and place the clarified butter in a clean pan.

  7. Add the shallot, mace, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, lemon zest and juice and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Remove from the heat and strain through a sieve again.

  8. Pour the strained butter over the white crabmeat and mix well. Half-fill the prepared dariole moulds with the half of the crabmeat mixture, pressing down well. Divide the brown crabmeat among the moulds, pressing on top of the white crabmeat. Finish with the remaining white crabmeat, then cover each mould with heatproof cling film and place into a roasting tin.

  9. Pour enough boiling water into the tin to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before peeling off the cling film and turning out onto serving plates.

  10. For the samphire, bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the samphire and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until tender. Drain and refresh in iced water.

  11. Heat the wine in a small pan and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until reduced by half. Whisk in the butter a bit at a time, then add the drained samphire, capers, parsley and season with freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.

  12. For the poached duck eggs and toast, bring a pan of water to the boil and add a splash of vinegar. Crack the duck eggs into individual bowls. Swirl the water in the pan around with a wooden spoon to create a vortex, then slide the egg into the middle. (Using the spoon, you can guide the egg whites to wrap around the egg yolk for a neater finish.) Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the whites have set. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into a bowl of iced water. Drain and dry on kitchen paper. When ready to serve, reheat the poached eggs in a pan of boiling water for 30 seconds.

  13. Meanwhile, cut four rounds of bread with a large pastry cutter, toast them until golden-brown all over and spread with some butter.

  14. For the lemon mayonnaise, whisk the egg yolks until pale, then whisk in the mustard and lemon juice. Add the oil in a thin, steady stream down the sides of the bowl (whisking continuously), until the mixture emulsifies and thickens. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  15. For the crabcakes, heat the oil in a pan and fry the crabcakes for 2-3 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown all over. Drain on kitchen paper. Arrange the toast to one side and top with a poached egg. Pile the samphire on the other side and set three crab cakes on top. Spoon the sauce from the samphire around the plate. Dot the lemon mayonnaise around the edges of the plate and garnish with the micro cress.

1-2 hours preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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