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Cook: Crab Stock

crabWithout stock there is no life. Without crab stock there is no bisque. I was unable to finish my huge Cock Crab on Monday at the Royal Native Oyster Stores in Whitstable, so asked for a doggie bag – we are in a recession you know!

Method: Smash the legs/body with the back of a German* knife and cover with unsalted water. Roughly chop a leek, onion and fennel if you have it. Boil. Smash with a rolling pin. Boil. Cool. Freeze. Bisque!

*My good friend Ichiro Kubota the head chef at Mayfair’s Umu restaurant once gave me a beautiful, handmade Japanese knife for my birthday. “Only for fish!” he said sternly. Shellfish I wondered? I used it to smash up a bumper catch of Velvet Crab caught in Padstow estuary. The bisque was legendary. The knife was somewhat damaged – deeply chipped. The chef was ANGRY, but duly restored it to its former glory. Lesson learned, crabhopper.

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