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Crab risotto with pan-fried fish, samphire & parsley oil

Crab risotto with pan-fried fish, samphire & parsley oil

A light summery risotto with punchy flavours


  • 1.25L fish stock
  • Blade of mace
  • Pinch of saffron
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 banana shallots, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 200g Arborio rice
  • 70ml dry white wine (Pernod or vermouth also work well with seafood)
  • 4 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 250g fresh crab meat
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 90g samphire
  • Extra butter
  • 4 meaty white fish fillets 
  • 200g parsley

For the parsley oil

  • 100ml olive oil
  • Ice in cold water to blanch (or put a small bowl of cold water into the fridge/freezer)


  1. Put the fish stock, mace blade and pinch of saffron into a large pot and bring up to the boil. Turn off the heat and set aside with a lid on to keep hot. Remove the blade of mace.
  2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add 2 tbsp olive oil. Lower the heat and add the onions. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water to the pan if they begin to stick.
  3. Add the garlic and rice, cook for a further 2 minutes, coating them in the oil. Add the white wine (or other alcohol), allow to absorb into the rice.
  4. Slowly add a ladle of hot stock to the risotto and stir constantly until well absorbed. Continue with the stock until the rice is cooked. Season well with salt and pepper. 
  5. While the rice is cooking away, boil some water in a small saucepan. Add the parsley and blanch for 30 seconds. Refresh with the ice cold water. Drain and pat dry the parsley with kitchen paper. Blitz the parsley in a small food processor or with a hand-held blender with 100ml olive oil.
  6. Add the lemon zest, juice, crème fraîche and crab meat to the risotto. Stir through to combine. Set aside and keep warm
  7. Heat a separate non-stick pan until almost smoking. Add some oil and pan-fry the fish, skin-side down for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Add some butter to the pan and turn the fish over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, basting the fish with the melted butter. Remove from the pan and set aside. 
  8. Meanwhile, wipe the pan clean with some kitchen roll. Add a little more butter and pan-fry the samphire.
  9. Divide the risotto between 4 bowls, add the pan-fried fish and top with the samphire. Drizzle with the parsley oil before serving.

Recipe by Jody Spencer

Taste Buds chef: Jody Spencer

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