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February 14, 2015 / mintcustard

Shelina Permalloo’s Salt and chilli crab claws #loveyourfreezer

Salt and chilli crab claws

Salt and chilli crab claws

If someone asked you to come for a three course meal on a cold Thursday evening and you knew that many of the ingredients were coming straight out of the freezer you’d be forgiven for turning down such a ‘kind’ offer. Fortunately for me Shelina Permalloo, Masterchef champion 2012, was the one cooking the meal so I was more than happy to be fed frozen food.

Shelina sharing a magnificent crab claws recipe.

Shelina sharing a magnificent crab claws recipe.

You will have seen, if you follow Mintcustard, that I have been using more frozen ingredients in my own cooking. Chilli cheese fries and mediterranean roasted vegetable sausage rolls have both benefitted from a trip down the Sainsburys freezer aisles.

As a staunch advocate for the reduction of food waste I have mostly used my freezer to hold batch cooked meals, meat and vegetables bought at a discount or leftovers. As the mum of a student I have also reminded her that having vegetables in the freezer will help to save her money and fill her up too. Being a Bejam child I think frozen food scared me somewhat! Now I am beginning to see how much more versatile your freezer and frozen ingredients can be.

Canapes made using frozen ingredients.

Canapes made using frozen ingredients.

On the menu last Thursday were some delicious canapes, the most amazing salt and chilli crab claws, a long and lazy one pot chilli and a tart and fruity crumble.

Longand lazy chilli

Longand lazy chilli

Fruity crumble with some clotted cream.

Fruity crumble with some clotted cream.

The star dish of the night for me (and most others there) was those amazing crab claws. Luckily we were given the recipe and I’m sharing it with you now.

Salt and Chilli Stir Fry Crab

  • Serves 2
  • Preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes


  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1tsp five spice powder
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 500 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for pan frying (you can use sunflower oil for this)
  • Cooked Scottish Crab Claws, Taste the Difference, 380g by Sainsbury’s
  • 30g corn starch
  • 1 banana shallot finely diced
  • 1tbsp frozen chopped garlic by Sainsbury’s
  • 1tsp frozen chopped chilli by Sainsbury’s
  • 4 spring onions, sliced into long diagonal pieces
  • 1tbsp frozen coriander by Sainsbury’s
  • 2 lime, quartered

Allow the crab claws to defrost thoroughly before use and remove the crab meat from the claws before cooking. All other frozen ingredients can be used straight from the freezer.


  1. Dry roast the salt, pepper and Chinese five spice powder in a pan for 30 seconds. Remove the mixture from the pan and allow to cool before adding the sugar. Set aside in a small bowl
  2. In a deep frying pan or wok, bring the oil to 180°C (be careful when using hot oil, keep away from children and do not leave unattended). Dust the crab meat with corn flour and fry two at a time to keep the oil at a consistent temperature and fry for just 1 minute. Once cooked, remove the crab meat from the oil and place directly onto a kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining meat until they are all cooked and set to one side
  3. Bring a wok to a high heat, add a little of the oil used when deep frying the crab meat and add the banana shallots, garlic and chilli and cook until fragrant. Now add the cooked crab meat and sprinkle with the salt, pepper and five spice mix whilst tossing in the pan. Finally add the spring onion and the frozen coriander
  4. Remove from the wok and serve on a bed of lettuce leaves and segments of lime. Decorate with the washed crab claws for a bit of drama on the plate

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Kcals: 225

Fat (g): 11.5

Sat fat (g): 1.5

Protein (g): 1.1

Fibre (g): 1

Carbs (g): 20

Sugar (g): 5

Salt (g): 2.8



I was invited by Sainsburys to attend this event at Food at 52. I was not paid to attend and was not asked to write this blog post.

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