Spider crab is one of those undiscovered seafood pleasures – at least in the UK. It can be prepared and eaten in exactly the same way as a standard brown crab, but don't expect to get quite as much white meat out of it. You'll also need to work a little harder at getting that white meat out of the body crevices.
Fresh crab on toast – from a spider or brown crab – makes a delicious snack, or you can serve it as a starter for a dinner party with perhaps a small herb salad. I would recommend a sourdough bread here to give a nice crisp, full-flavoured base for the crab.
2 spider crabs, each about 600g, or 1 crab, 1kg or more, white and brown meat extracted
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1-2tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
Squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
4 slices of bread, about 1cm thick
Softened butter, for spreading
Season the white and brown crab separately and mix the brown meat with a little mayonnaise and lemon juice, or just mix the whole lot together if you like.
Toast the bread on both sides and butter one side. If you've kept the brown and white meat separate, spread the brown on first and the white on top, or if it's mixed simply spoon on top of the toasts. Serve at once.