We used our very largest Genovese basil leaves as cups for the crab with Thai, Greek, purple & cinnamon basils to combine with the crab meat. The leaves available in the shops will in all probability be too small to use as a cup, so instead create a nest with the largest leaves. Supermarkets, greengrocers and delis often have a good selection of basil varieties, but you can also choose Asian coriander & mint or any soft herbs that look fresh and delicious.
- 250-300g hand-picked white crab meat
- A generous selection of basil leaves
- 1 fresh coconut cracked, sliced into ribbons with a potato-peeler (leaving the husk attached)
For the dressing:
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 bird’s eye chillies, bashed
- 150ml coconut cream
- 2½ tbsp chicken stock
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 1tbsp fish sauce
To make dressing:
- Combine all the ingredients with the exception of the fish sauce and simmer in a small pan until slightly reduced.
- Season with fish sauce to taste and allow to cool slightly.
To assemble the dish:
- Combine the crab & herbs, moisten with 3-4 tbsp of dressing, being careful not to drown the ingredients.
- Create a bed of your largest basil leaves on each plate.
- Loosely pile the crab mixture on your basil nests.
- Drizzle with a touch more of the dressing and simply garnish with 3-4 strips of coconut on each plate.
- Add more herbs to taste, or if you would like a little extra punch, add freshly sliced chillies.