Christmas Crab Feast

The Fish Society | 12.10.2021


How to serve crab at Christmas 

As we approach  the festive season, the extensive meal planning begins! Thinking about the cozy and jolly Christmas Eve with your nearest and dearest, all the way through to Boxing day, it really is the time to indulge in all things luxurious. Crab is abundant in UK waters and makes for the perfect starter for your festive meal.

We certainly are not suggesting binning off smoked salmon or the pigs in blankets! That would be a crime. But branching out into the world of crab at Christmas can bring on a whole new world of ideas. We hope this little guide will help you navigate how to serve the best shellfish to you and yours.

Our recipe index has some show stopping crab dishes. They are easy to follow and mouth watering. This king crab recipe with chili and garlic is sure to please everyone. However, if navigating your way around the kitchen is not your forte - one of our top sellers at Christmas and one the easiest,  foolproof dishes to serve is our classic dressed crab. They arrive almost ready to serve, with very little preparation. 

What is a dressed crab?

Dressed crab is traditionally a whole english crab which has been cooked in salty water, cooled and it is then deconstructed. The underside and insides are removed before carefully extracting the brown meat from the body of the crab. The brown meat is lightly seasoned and combined with a teeny tiny bit of breadcrumb to give it substance. The main shell which is now empty, turned over makes a perfect  ‘dish’ to serve the crab. The white meat is extracted from the claws and layered on top. 

How to serve dressed crab?

When you receive one of our dressed crabs they arrive already cooked and prepared, in a sealed bag, frozen. This helps for planning, means you can do all your Christmas fish shopping well in advance, and keep it stored in your freezer until the day before you serve.Take the crab out of the freezer and onto a plate in the fridge to defrost overnight. By the next day it will be defrosted. Remove the wrapping, from the vacuum pack the crab meat might be a little squished into the shell. Use a fork to ‘fluff’ the meat and it is as simple as that! 

You can serve one crab per person, garnish with a little fresh parsley, lemon wedge and fresh bread. Traditionally dressed crab would be served cold. You could also serve it with a mayonnaise based dip.


If dressed crab is not your top choice, another great way to serve crab as Christmas is a seafood platter. We offer a Plat des Fruits de Mer or could create your own for a crab-tastic fest. 


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