This delightful Crab Salad with a Fresh Coriander Dressing is the perfect dish to serve as a light lunch, or as a starter for a dinner party. The cool sweet meat, the slightly bitter greens and the sharp, yet balanced dressing come together to light up the dullest and most uninspired of tastebuds.
One of the best things about living on the south Cornish coast, is the year round access we have to superb seafood. My nearest town still has a working fleet of boats and a tiny fishmonger that is really well stocked with a range of seafood that gets landed just feet from the door. The prices may be higher than you’d pay in a supermarket, but the produce is ridiculously fresh giving it several days fridge life, and our money goes straight back into the local economy rather than into a national corporate black hole.
On a recent visit I treated myself to a whole crab. I sat in the garden one afternoon picking out the meat from the shell with the chickens scratching round my feet for company. I tried really hard to ignore the urge to eat the meat straight from the shell, instead piling it up in a little bowl ready to transform into this vibrant Asian inspired salad.
And whilst you can’t go wrong with crab and salad leaves, this dressing is thing that makes this salad divine. It is light, fragrant and like so many Asian dishes, the flavours are beautifully balanced and guaranteed to make your tastebuds sing.
If you’re new to buying crab, bear in mind that there are various options. For a dish like this, where the crab is the star of the show, you want to buy hand picked crab, or buy a whole crab and pick the meat out yourself (which is very time consuming so allow plenty of time, or get your guests to help you whilst plying them with plenty of wine, or just buy fresh crab claws which are much easier to pick). Crab meat that is separated from the shell by high pressure water loses a lot of the flavour, and tinned crab is best used in something cooked such as a chowder or bake.
- 1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander finely chopped
- 2 " fresh lemongrass stalk peeled of the dry outer and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce tamari or coconut aminos
- 3 tablespoons sesame or other mild tasting oil
- Juice & zest of half a lime
Chop the coriander, lemongrass as finely as possible.
Mix with the other dressing ingredients, cover and leave in the fridge until it's time to spoon over your salad.