James Martin recipe: Roast crab with lime and chilli butter

This buttery crab deserves a great hunk of bread.

“This can be served as either potted crab spread on warm toast or, as I like to serve it, just melted in a dish so it warms the crab and fully melts the butter,” says TV chef James Martin. “That way all the flavours of the kaffir lime leaves come out.”

James Martin’s roast crab with lime and chilli butter.

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James Martin's roast crab with lime and chilli butter

(serves 2)

100g butter, softened

Zest and juice of 2 limes

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

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1 lemongrass stick, finely chopped

4 spring onions, sliced

2tbsp fresh coriander, chopped, plus extra leaves to serve

1 red chilli, finely diced

300g white crab meat

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

Toasted sourdough


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/400°F/gas 6.

2. Beat together the butter, lime zest and juice, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, spring onions, coriander and chilli. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Spoon the crab into two ovenproof dishes and top with the butter. Place them on a baking tray and roast for 10 minutes until hot and bubbling.

4. Sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve straight away, with toasted sourdough on the side.

BUTTER: Comforting, Delicious, Versatile, Over 130 Recipes Celebrating Butter by James Martin, published by Quadrille, priced £22. Photography John Carey. Available now.