Allow 2 crab claws per person

You will need finger bowls to eat this.As a simple, elegant starter, serve it with really good bread and sweet, unsalted butter. Or, for a light supper, serve with a simple salad and one really good cheese, and follow with some sliced blood oranges for dessert. It is worth getting in live crabs for this – or, if you have a good fishmonger, give them the claws and ask them to cook them for you.

For the chilli oil

1 red chilli
120ml/4fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
A good pinch of sea salt

Place a large pot of really well-salted water on to boil. When the water has boiled, drop the live crab in to cook – for a crab weighing a kilo (2lb), cook for 12 minutes; for a smaller crab, cook for 10 minutes. Remove with tongs and set on a board to cool.

Slice the chilli in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, then slice into long, fine strips. Gather the strips and cut across into small squares. Place the chopped chilli into a bowl, add a little lemon juice, a pinch of salt, stir together and then add the olive oil.

Break the crab claws off from the body by twisting them firmly; the claws should come away easily. Take a rolling pin and crack the claws by tapping firmly the thickest part of the claw.

Arrange on a plate with plenty of wedges of lemon and serve the chilli oil separately in a bowl for people to help themselves. '

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