Pesto Crab Roll

Pesto crab roll in a brioche bun


Our take on the legendary Maine lobster roll is significantly more affordable but just as delicious.

Pro tip
Brown crabs are among our favourite shellfish, but for this dish we go the extra mile and hunt down spider crabs. It’s true, these weird looking crustaceans aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but the idea of them being thrown back in the ocean as “trash fish” due to lack of demand is scandalous.

Thankfully there are now online fishmongers who will supply live or cooked spider crab for a third the price of a similar-weight lobster. The sweet, precious meat they yield is good enough to rival lobster, and on occasion, we’ve wondered whether it might even be better.


Cooked crab meat x1 large male
Brioche rolls x2
Unsalted butter 30g
Lemon x1
Mayonnaise 50g (ideally Kewpie brand)
Pesto 25g
Seasoning to taste
Chives to garnish

Sit down and make yourself comfortable. The claw meat is a cinch to get to, but it can take a good 20-minutes to get every last morsel out of the crab's body. We'd thoroughly recommend the extra effort though. There are few food preparations as enjoyable.

Search online for tutorials on breaking down a spider crab - or just follow the basic rule of any shellfish butchery and cookery - if it looks like it’s going to be nasty to eat, it probably is.

A classic lobster roll starts with a New England Hot Dog Bun, but our sweet tooth means we prefer to opt for a brioche bun instead.

Liberally butter the roll, and we mean liberally. We're not at Weight Watchers tonight - this is a crab roll - and crab rolls must involve lashings of butter.

Spread the pesto over the butter. Mix the crab meat with a dash of lemon juice and good quality Kewpie-style mayonnaise. Give it a taste and add some salt and pepper to your liking.

Load the roll with the crab mixture and garnish with chives.

Devour without guilt, and wake up in the morning with a plan of how you're going to work off the calories.

Serving suggestions
Leafy salad with a piquant vinaigrette
Homemade coleslaw
Cold potato salad
French fries and lemon wedges
Mac 'n' cheese