The R factor
  |  First Published: October 2003

My dad always told me that the best time of year for crabs is the months that have a ‘r’ in them. An old wives tale? Who knows – but the months containing an ‘r’ are the warmer months and that’s when the crabs are most plentiful. So perhaps the ‘r’ factor has something going for it!

Crispy crab cakes

What a simple to prepare recipe! These crab cakes can be made in either a tiny size for snacks with drinks or a larger size to have with a fresh green salad for a main meal.


500g crab meat

3 eggs

2 shallots, finely chopped

freshly ground salt and pepper

3 eggs

good quality oil, for frying


• Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the crab meat, shallots, salt and pepper. Mix gently to combine.

• Cover the base of your frying pan with a thin layer of oil and heat over a medium heat. Drop teaspoonfuls or tablespoonfuls (snack or main meal) of the crab mixture into the hot oil. Sauté until the cakes are golden brown on one side, turn them over and cook on the other side.

• Remove the crab cakes from the pan and drain on some paper towel before serving.

Crab casserole

A nice light casserole rich in crabby flavour and simple to prepare. Cook the rice and boil the eggs and you are more than halfway to a delicious meal.


1 tablespoon butter

1 red capsicum, finely chopped

1 onion, chopped

500g crab meat

1 small cup mayonnaise

3 eggs, hard boiled and chopped roughly

1 cup cooked rice

3 slices bread, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

2 tablespoons melted butter


• Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.

• Gently fry the onion and capsicum in the tablespoon of butter until they are softened. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the crab meat, mayo, chopped eggs and rice. Spoon the crab mixture into an ovenproof casserole dish.

• Mix together the bread cubes, parsley and melted butter. Spread over the top of the crab mixture in the casserole dish and bake for about 20 minutes or until the crab mixture is bubbling and the topping is golden brown.

Surf and turf

In this recipe the crab is used more as a dressing/sauce, and it will certainly appeal to meat lovers. Use large chunks of crab meat from the body and claws to give a better looking finished dish. The quantities listed in the ingredients serve two people.


2 eye fillet steaks

2 tablespoons warm melted butter

1/2 clove garlic, crushed finely

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley

250g chunky crab meat


• Cook the steaks according to your preference. Remove from the heat and keep warm while you prepare the crab. Put the crab meat, warm melted butter, parsley and garlic in a bowl and tumble gently to combine.

• To serve, place a steak on each serving plate and spoon the crab meat/ butter mixture over the top. Excellent with steamed Asian greens or asparagus.

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