LAST weekend we were lucky enough to have some pretty amazing weather. A perfect spring day with bright sunshine, clear blue skies and a mild breeze. Possibly the nicest weather we have had in months and certainly good weather at any rate for the North East of England, good enough to walk outside without a big winter coat and gloves.
As it was mother’s day on Sunday we headed to Sandsend, a small fishing village near Whitby, for a stroll along the beach with Max the dog and some lunch at our favourite spot – a pub called The Hart Inn, a proper Yorkshire pub serving up the freshest seafood. Sandsend is our favourite spot for a Sunday walk anyway and we visit as often as we can. We ordered our usual crab salad with half a lobster as a mother’s day treat, chips for Mum and new potatoes for me. It was warm enough to eat in the pub garden so we basked in the sunlight and devoured our seafood while Max scoffed some gravy bones.
I don’t know if it was the combination of sun, sea and sand; the fresh, juicy crab meat or the notion that Spring was in swing but I just felt inspired. I wanted to put together a dish that was light and colourful with a chilli kick. We are going to Vietnam later in the year and it is no secret that the fresh, zingy flavours of Vietnamese food pairs really well with seafood.
Vietnamese Inspired Crab Salad
Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves : 2 as a main meal or 4 as a starter
Dried rice noodles – 2 nests (1 nest per person for a main meal)
Fresh white crab meat*
200g Green beans, sliced
100g Bean sprouts
200g Baby corn, sliced in half length ways
1 red pepper, sliced
2 Spring onions, sliced
Bunch of corriander, chopped
Handful of mint leaves, chopped
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
For the dressing
2 tbsp Soy sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp Fish sauce
1 tbsp White wine vinegar or rice vinegar
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
A tiny pinch of sugar to balance the acidity
- Start by making the noodles per packet instructions. Drain, place in mixing bowl and set aside until needed.
- Blanch the green beans and baby corn in boiling water for 2-3 minutes and plunge into ice water to arrest the cooking process – you want the veg to remain crunchy and vibrant in colour. Drain and add to the bowl with the noodles.
- In the same bowl, add the bean sprouts, fresh red chilli, spring onions, red pepper, mint and corriander.
- Make the dressing by combining the above ingredients, stirring well. Using as much or as little as you like, pour over your salad and toss through ensuring all the ingredients are lightly coated.
- Once the salad is adequately mixed, it’s time to add the star ingredient, the crab! Generously scatter the crab meat over the top of the salad.
- Top with slices of avocado and garnish with more corriander, lime wedges and a grind of black pepper. Serve and enjoy!
*Fresh crab is always best but if you cannot get hold of this then you can use tinned. Tinned crab meat is fine to use but if you don’t like the idea then king prawns or squid would be a good alternative.