Cooking, Seafood, Shellfish
comments 17

Crab Claws with Wild Garlic & Chipotle

Crab claws are very common on restaurant menus by the sea in Ireland, but I rarely see them here. Perhaps this is because I don’t spend enough time by the sea here (I don’t), or perhaps we just love them more in Ireland. Either way I bet many of you don’t cook them much at home? I don’t either. I don’t know why that is.

At the market at the weekend, the fish stall had 1 kg of crab claws just sitting there, and I thought, oooh, I bet they would be lovely in a wild garlic butter sauce! They were, they were really good, but not just because of the wild garlic but also because of the robust smokey and warm undertones provided by some chipotle that I had brought back from the US with me on my recent trip there (you can get it very easily online here too).

They look like a lot of work, both to cook and to eat, and they are a little bit for both. I had to prep them a little bit to get rid of random broken bits of claw stuck on the end, but it took minutes and wasn’t too gruesome. To eat, you can suck the meat out or tease it out with a fork, I prefer to smash it with my crab claw pincer things. A nutcracker would do the job very well too.

If you can’t deal with the crab claws, and it’s ok if that’s the case, I think this sauce would be terrific with scallops and prawns too.

Crab Claws with Wild Garlic & Chipotle

Serves 2 as a starter or more to graze

600g crab claws, raw
50g butter
2 tbsp chopped wild garlic
1 tbsp chipotle, roughly chopped
100 ml white wine

Reduce the white wine by about a third in a hot shallow pan.
Add the butter, the wild garlic and the chipotle.
When the butter has melted add the crab claws and cook for 6 – 8 minutes over a medium heat until cooked through.
Season to taste.
Serve warm with good sliced bread to mop up the delicious sauce.




  1. nicole ruduss says

    Looks moreish! I will be pining for these all week now…

  2. Sally says

    this looks wonderful!

    am a recent convert to seafood but crabs still scare me, I need to try!

    • @Sally – Good for you for your recently conversion to sea food. Eating crab meat is a transcendence from prawns and shellfish – no doubt you’ll love it!

  3. You’re quite right about the cooking crab claws in this country. I’ve never tried doing it but the fact you picked up some so easily from the market(Broadway?) has got me intrigued. After sampling the beautiful crab cakes they serve at the JW Steakhouse in the Grosvenor House Hotel, plus reading this post, I feel somewhat inspired to create something with the sweet tender meat myself!

  4. Susie Gibson says

    you say you can gt chipottle on line but sadly without checking i am at a loss to know what it is?? Veg, mineral. animal ??

  5. This looks really good. Crab claw is quite common in Denmark (where I’m from) but it would be a whole new experience with these ingredients!

  6. vickscakes says

    Looks yummy Niamh, would you find a crab that size in Ballinacourty? Hopefully going picking mussels this weekend so will try your wild garlic butter! yum, Vick

    • Absolutely! Our neighbour used to catch them all the time. Enjoy and let me know how you get on :)

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