Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients part 1 – Crab claws with garlic butter.

Crab claws in garlic butter (7 of 8) I have to give you a little bit of background to this post and the inspiration for this new, occasional series, Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients. A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Liam Quinlan. Liam is a Kerryman (nothing wrong with that) and is passionate about the seafood that his family company produces. Liam travelled to Dublin by train. I met him at Huston station and we spent a few hours together. Liam brought me a styrofoam box. “Just some crab and a bit of salmon for you to try.” he said in his self deprecatory way. 

One of the things that impressed me most about our conversation was the passion that Liam has for Kerry seafood. They catch, process and retail their own fish, exporting a good deal of it to enthusiastic customers on mainland Europe. We were lucky enough to try some crab claws and some lovely crab meat. The crab is cooked in salt water, giving it a unique flavour. Today, we’ll concentrate on the crab claws. When ingredients are as good and fresh as these, simple preparation is the golden rule.

Imagine my embarrassment when I realised that I had left one of the four ingredients out of the shot.

How did I manage to forget the garlic? Four ingredients, for goodness sake!

How did I manage to forget the garlic? Four ingredients, for goodness sake!

The ingredients:

  • 12 prepared crab claws
  • 3 cloves of garlic or one single bulb garlic
  • 120 grammes of butter (1 stick American)
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley

Melt the butter over a low to medium heat.

There is no doubt that Irish butter is the best in the world.

There is no doubt that Irish butter is the best in the world.

Chop the garlic and add to the butter. heat it until the aroma of garlic butter fills the kitchen. Don’t over-heat the butter.

The wonderful garlic butter smell will drive you wild.

The wonderful garlic butter smell will drive you wild.

Add the crab claws to the butter and warm through.

The claws take on the glorious garlic butter taste.

The claws take on the glorious garlic butter taste.

Add the chopped parsley and toss to coat.

The fresh parsley works perfectly with the garlic and sweet crab meat.

The fresh parsley works perfectly with the garlic and sweet crab meat.

Serve the crab claws once they are heated through. Spoon the delicious garlic butter over the claws.

Any excuse for a pouring shot. Not often I get to pour butter!

Any excuse for a pouring shot. Not often I get to pour butter!

I can’t relate to you how delicious these claws were. The meat was sweet and tasted perfect with the garlic, butter and parsley. The picture tells its own story.

There's not much else to say about how tasty these were.

There’s not much else to say about how tasty these were.

I look forward to cooking the crab meat (any suggestions welcomed). These Kerry crab claws really are a worthy first in my Ireland’s Greatest Ingredients series.

Written by
Latest comments
  • The crab and butter look delicious. I’ll have to remember Quinlan’s and to loiter around on the Dublin train looking hungry 😀

    • I have my position on the platform marked out Rosemary. You will have to get in the queue.

  • Delicious – I could eat those now!

    • I was in two minds about posting these MD. Mind 1 said that there was no cooking involved, just warming some butter. Mind 2 said that they were spectacularly tasty and getting the butter / garlic / parsley balance was pretty skilful. Needless to say, Mind 2 won the debate.

  • Crab cakes. You know, just fresh white breadcrumbs, a bit of mayo, a bit of mustard, a bit of seasoning (sage, celery salt…), an egg. Introduce them, turn up the music, let them party. Patted gently into cakes, fried in Ireland’s finest dairy product till crispy and fabulous. Excuse me, I have to go and wipe the drool off my chin.

    • As do I. Now, I want crab cakes for breakfast!

      • Thankfully, we are in a different time zone and I only want them for lunch.

    • Hmmm… I like the idea of some delicious crab cakes and I have a nice bit of Kerry crab to do it. However, I have been hankering after a crab carbonara for a while now and have just taken delivery (half a kilo) of 00 flour to give it a go. You might lose out here Kate. However, it’s not the last you will see of this deliciousness.

      • Ah, now, I wouldn’t turn my face away from a crab carbonara either. Making your own pasta too. There’s swanky…

        • Once you have done it once, there is no going back. Wonderful and easy.

  • You got the money shot with that ‘pouring melting butter’ photo. Drool worthy indeed!

    • I hope my cardiologist does not see this. It will play havoc with my health premiums.

  • I need this right now. Beautiful food shots, especially the last one. 😉

  • Yum, that looks soooo good. Crab linguine?

    • Thanks Linda, perhaps or perhaps the carbonara. I did a Vongole the other evening and I need to spread my wings a little.

  • The flavor of the claws sounds special. Your recipe really highlights the quality of the seafood. Garlic butter and any good crustacean is delicious. The fresh parsley on top must taste bright and refreshing!

    • Thanks Shanna, Yes, the ingredients are so good that there is little need for much cooking intervention.

  • Shriek!

    That looks so delicious I think I’m going to explode. This sort of content should be expunged from the Internet, Conor. I feel compelled to immediately seek out seafood, which of course won’t be as fresh or delicious and my sense of comparative disappointment will be devastating.

    No pressure or anything 🙂

    • Your comment made me laugh out loud Luffy. Shrieking and exploding are not the usual responses to my stuff.
      Thank you!

  • Perfect treatment of the perfect seafood Conor. Beautiful. I often think it might be the effort involved in catching good seafood that makes folk so enthusiastic about it, myself included.

    • Hi Phi,
      Those Kerry folk are blessed to be surrounded on three sides by the wild Atlantic. The fish is second to none anywhere. I share your passion.

  • That looks delicious (as always!) As for other ways to use the crab, I got 2 words for you: OLD BAY.

    I think that someone farther up the thread gave a crab cake recipe. There’s no crab cake like a Maryland/Chesapeake crab cake. And that’s gotta have the OLD BAY. Lemme know if you’re interested in a recipe.

    • Thanks Yinzerella, Our crab and your crab are pretty different. The meat from ours tends to be in smaller chunks (smaller crab) and the recipes tend to be different. Having said that, fire through a recipe and I will see if we can make something wonderful from it.

  • Very nice crab claws and photos indeed, Conor. Perhaps the garlic went missing because it’s not Irish?
    As for a recipe: crab ravioli of course! 🙂

    • Yes Stefan, I have yet to plant some garlic in the garden. I believe it grows pretty well here. I have done a crab and goats cheese ravioli before and it was spectacular. I also have a recipe from Liam Quinlan that I want to adapt too. There could be a lot of crab meat recipes floating around at this rate…

  • There is nothing finer that a simple preparation to showcase perfect crab claws like you were lucky enough to have…garlic butter was a terrific choice. Your comment about wanting crab cakes for breakfast would be a good choice for the crabmeat. I like to order eggs benedict that are prepared with crab cakes, they are delicious.

    • Thanks for the kind words Karen. That sounds like a kind of lunch heaven. Excellent idea indeed.

    • I second crab cakes eggs Benedict. That is the maximum allowable adornment for crab meat, in my opinion.

      Conor, what variety of crab is that? A quick search leads me to believe it is likely the brown crab, Cancer pagurus (

      • That’s her. The meat is deliciously sweet. I am preparing carbonara this evening. Eggs B to follow.

  • Simple and beautiful. YUM! I love treating seafood so gently!

    • Thanks Amanda, It would be a crime to do much more than this. Though, I have a plan to wrap some on prawn meat and deep fry them as part of my Easy Oriental series. It qualifies as I once had something similar in a Chinese restaurant here in Dublin.

  • I could have a whole bowl of this. With some good wine. I highly recommend Maryland Crab Cakes. Delicious. 🙂

    • The qualification of ‘with a good wine’ brings things up a notch, for sure.

  • OK! OK! You kind’of crossed the Channel for that garlic, but – oh boy!! I can smell them here and now, I can taste them and my lovely lunch just past suddenly became totally non existent . . . .

    • Thanks Eha, and Happy Birthday too!

      • 🙂 !!

  • Looks and sounds beyond delicious…but you won’t have a better crab claw or crab cake until you’ve tasted blue crab from the Chesapeake Bay and prepared on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 😉 Happy cooking!

    • Thanks Elisa, that is a good reason to plan a trip to that part of the world. Someday….

  • A damn fine treatment of a clearly good product. Nice work my friend.

    • Thanks indeed. You guys have some of the best seafood in the world around you. I am often envious, until I look at what goes on around here. We are very lucky too.

  • I’m so envious of this meal of yours!!!

    • Simple and quick to prepare and truly delicious. That’s my kind of cooking Mimi.

  • This would be an awesome Fathers day dinner. Thanks for the inspiration and if you are a daddy, wishing a very special day to you too.

    • Thanks BAM. My ingrates refer to it as Another Hallmark Day and make me do the cooking too.

  • There is nothing like eating some fresh-caught crab I tell you! As one reader pointed out, catching your own seafood and eating it makes it all the better (myself included). I’m dreaming of the fresh Dungeness crab we’ll be catching in a few months here in the Pacific Northwest.

    I really want to reach right through my screen and grab one of those!!!

    • A treat indeed. Sadly, I have never been in that part of the world and the Dungeness is a stranger to me.

  • Boy, does that look good! Bring on the chilled white Burgundy and dig in! Ken

    • Thanks Ken indeed. We are heading down to near Bordeaux by car in the next few weeks. Hopefully, we can find something suitable on that trip.

      • I don’t think you’ll have to try to hard. We’re actually leaving for the Dordogne in a week, not a part of France I’ve visited before. Looking forward to great food and some neolithic cave art at Peche Merle. Ken

      • Are you bringing your bike? Ken

        • If I’m allowed. Negotiations are ongoing.

  • Wowzers.

  • Looks yummy!

  • The claws look great. I do similar with blue crab claws but as we catch them, mine are raw. I bake the cracked claws in the oven with garlic, butter, parsley, a little chilli and lemon. Too good! A lemony risotto finished with crab meat is good too.

    • I love the thought of the chilli and lemon. The risotto would be perfect too.

  • Reblogged this on Diana Valentine | Home Design and commented:
    Crab claws recipe

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: