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Spiced crab arancini

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Featured in Sharp’s new cookbook, Alan Bird shares his recipe for spiced crab arancini


Makes 8-10 arancini

You will need

For the filling

Olive oil 50ml
Medium shallot 1, peeled and finely chopped
Root ginger 30g, peeled and crushed
Garlic clove 1, peeled and crushed
Red chilli 1, seeded and finely chopped
Carnaroli risotto rice 100g
Tomato puree 30g
Dry sherry 60ml
Fish stock 200ml
Brown crab meat 200g
White crab meat 300g
Coriander leaves 20g, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crumb

Plain flour 100g
Eggs 2
Milk 60ml
Panko breadcrumbs 100g
Parmesan cheese 50g, grated
Vegetable oil 1l for frying

For the gremolata crème fraîche

Lemon 1, zest
Flat leaf parsley 50g, chopped leaves
Garlic clove 1, crushed into a paste
Crème fraîche 100g
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. For the filling: heat the olive oil in a large pan and gently cook the shallot, ginger, garlic and chilli.
  2. Add the rice and cook gently, then gradually add the tomato puree, sherry and fish stock and simmer until completely absorbed and the rice is just cooked. Add the crab meat and cook on a low heat for 3-4 minutes. Add the coriander leaves, season to taste and then leave to cool. Refrigerate once cooled and leave to set.
  3. Mould the chilled risotto into even bite-size balls, approximately 30g each in weight.
  4. To crumb: set up 3 separate shallow trays – one for flour, one for the egg and milk mix, and one for the breadcrumbs and parmesan.
  5. Roll the balls in the flour, ensuring that they are fully coated. Shake off the excess flour, then place into the egg mix, again ensuring the outside of the balls are fully coated. Then carefully place into the breadcrumbs and coat evenly. Place in the fridge to set.
  6. For the gremolata crème fraîche: mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season.
  7. Heat the vegetable oil to 190°c in a deep fat fryer or a pan twice the size of the volume of oil.
  8. Carefully place the arancini into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden brown. Drain carefully on kitchen paper.
  9. Serve warm with the gremolata crème fraîche.

PAIR WITH Off shore Pilsner, a lager or golden ale

Chef’s Tip: ‘Apologies to my Italian friends for the cardinal sin of adding parmesan to the breadcrumb mix, but it really does work,’ says Alan

Find more recipes and beer pairings in Just Add Beer, the new cookbook from Sharp’s Brewery.

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