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Thai crab tartlets

A western twist to a traditional Thai crab cake. The crumbly tarlet cups go well with the coriander and garlic crab filling. They pair well with salad and a glass of Rose. Traditionally, Thai crab cakes are steamed patties that are then coated with breadcrumbs then deep fried. The recipe here keeps the authenticity of the herby crab taste which is then baked in tartlets. The combination of Thai savoury flavour and a soft crunchy tart brings the best of eastern/western cuisine.

Thai crab cakes in little tarts
Thai crab tartlets



Make 12 muffin size tartlets

For the crab filling

Prep time : 10 minutes

Baking time: 15 minutes


  • 300 g crab meat ( or 150g crab and 150g smoked mackerel, skinned)

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves

  • 1/2 tbps chopped coriander roots ( coriander seeds are a good substitute)

  • 1tsp garlic

  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper

  • 1/4 salt

  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce or Thai fish sauce


  1. In a pestle and mortar, pound together coriander roots, garlic and white pepper.

  2. Add soy sauce, salt, and 1 egg. Mix well. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.

  3. Stir in the crab meat and massage everything in by hand.

  4. Set aside while making the pastry


For the tartlets

Prep time: 20 minutes

Baking time 10 minutes plus 30 chilling time


  • 200g plain flour

  • pinch of salt

  • 125g cold butter diced

  • 1 egg yolk


  1. sift together the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips or process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  2. Add the egg yolk and enough cold water to form a smooth dough. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190c. Lightly grease a deep 12 cup muffin tin.

  4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 3-4mm. Using a round pastry cutter, cut out rounds large enough to line the cups of the tin.

  5. Gently press the pastry cases into the cup. Line each pastry cases with a small piece of baking paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp.Remove the paper and the beans.

  6. Spoon the filling into the pastry cases and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Leave to stand in the tin for a few minutes.

  7. Garnish with either a strip of red chillie or red pepper and some coriander leaves.

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