Crab Risotto

by katerina on January 26, 2012

Need an idea for Valentine’s Day? A seafood risotto made from homemade shellfish stock and freshly cooked meat is not something everyone gets the opportunity to try. Nominate a special someone in your life and spoil them with this crab risotto recipe.

Crab Risotto

It may be just one bowl of food, but every part of the recipe you are layering in flavour and love and they will shower it right back at you. Plus, I see this appropriatley pink dish, pairing very well with a nice glass of champagne.

Crab Risotto Recipe

Starting from scratch (where scratch is one very much alive Dungeness crab), all the way to two bowls of a hearty crab risotto, takes a smidge over 2 hours. This is because you need to cook the crab, pick the meat from the shells and then make the crab stock before you can even start on the risotto. That said, once you have the crab and crab stock all ready to go the risotto takes less than 45 minutes so if you would like you can do this over two days. This risotto recipe was created from Dungeness crab, but that isn’t native to everywhere, I am sure it would work with other crabs as well.

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Crab Risotto Recipe

(serves 4)

1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons diced celery
1 teaspoon salt
1 large pinch cayenne
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
the zest of one lemon
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
4 italian canned tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
~4 cups crab stock
1 cup cooked crab
1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives
1 tablespoon whipping cream
freshly ground pepper
the juice of half a lemon

This recipe is designed to go along with the crab stock and as such first you will need to cook the crab. Just in case you are at a loss for this, here is how you would go about it: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of salt. It doesn't have to be fancy salt but crab likes to be cooked in very salty water. Add the crab and boil for 8 minutes. Drain and allow to cool for 20 minutes so it is cool enough to handle. Once you have picked through the crab and separated the shell from the flesh you can make the stock from the leftover shell and refrigerate the meat until you are ready to make the risotto.

Alternatively this recipe can be made with purchased shelled crab and crab stock.

To make the risotto, set a medium sized heavy saucepan over medium heat and melt the tablespoon of butter. Add the onion and sweat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, cayenne, thyme and a pinch of salt. Sweat for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring so that it won't brown. Add the rice, and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the white wine and allow to simmer until the wine is reduced by half. Now you should be stirring constantly. Start adding your hot stock one ladelful at a time, making sure there is always so enough that the rice is fully covered. Simmer the risotto, stirring frequently until the rice starts to approach al dente. When this happens, slow the addition of stock to a half ladle at a time and stir in the cooked crab, tomatoes and parsley. Cook until the rice is tender, but still has a tiny bite. Stir in the chives, cream and lemon juice. Taste and add add salt as necessary as well as a generous amount of freshly ground pepper, crab likes pepper. Serve hot.


Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 25 minutes | Total Time:35 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 490



{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time January 26, 2012 at 10:42 am

Oh my gosh, that looks delicious. I love both crab and risotto so I can only imagine how rich and decadent pairing them would be. I don’t know that i can get my hands on fresh (alive) crab, but I’ll do my absolute best!

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katerina January 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

Good luck :)

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Belinda @zomppa January 26, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Me me! I want someone to make this for me!!

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Rachel @ Bakerita January 27, 2012 at 12:03 am

This looks so amazing and decadent! Gorgeous photos and amazing sounding food. Lovely!

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Mel (Sharky Oven Gloves) January 27, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I absolutely adore crab, and I love risottos as well, so I think the two combined would be totally perfect! It certainly looks delicious!

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Kevin (Closet Cooking) January 29, 2012 at 4:06 am

This crab risotto looks amazing!

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katerina January 29, 2012 at 1:37 pm

@Rachel thanks!

@Mel – me too!

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Sylvie (A Pot of Tea) January 30, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I’d love, love, love a bowl of that right now. Beautiful.

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Cheryl January 31, 2012 at 5:28 pm

About how many whole crabs are needed to make this recipe?

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katerina January 31, 2012 at 7:34 pm

Hi Cheryl

I used 1 whole Dungeness crab which is about 2 lbs.

Good Luck!

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Laurie Lee February 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Got the ingredients to make this Sunday! Can’t wait. Just looking at the pictures is killing me! I’m using canned crab, I know it can possibly be as good as fresh but it was a little easier on the wallet! We’ll see how it goes!

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Laurie Lee February 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

sorry I meant “it CAN’T be as good as fresh crab!”

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katerina February 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

@Laurie – I hope it still works out for you, I doubt it will be terrible! What are you going to use for the stock?

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Theresa February 5, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hi Laurie, I once used canned crab and it had bits of the shell mixed into it. If you can splurge on 1 crab, you wont regret it! good luck! I am making this today too. Does anyone have a suggestion of a type of white wine? I generally like reisling, but Im not sure if this wine will be right for the dish. Most of the other recipes call for dry white wine. I never drink dry wines so I need suggestions. Good luck with your recipe.

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katerina February 5, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I second that, pick through the canned crab if you can, they do it mechanically which sometimes means bits of crab are left behind!

As for wine, I do usually use a drier white for cooking, but if you are going to be drinking riesling with the crab then use that, the sweetness will probably be a nice addition. I usually use whatever I plan to drink with it :)

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Theresa February 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Thanks Katerina! I am off to the store to grab my last ingredients.

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Cheryl February 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

I was able to find whole frozen Dungeness crab, and this recipe came out wonderfully! We had it with a Monterey Chardonnay and a dry rosado and both went very well with the risotto.

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katerina February 26, 2012 at 10:29 am

Whole frozen dungeness? I didn’t realize that was an option, thanks for the report and glad it came out!

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