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Crab Butter with Sourdough
Crab Butter with Sourdough
Small plate
Over 2 hours

Learn how to make your own cultured butter with this decadent crab starter from Edinburgh restaurant Noto. The process takes several days, so be sure to plan ahead when making this dish.

Recipe courtesy of

Cultured Butter

  • 1l double cream
  • 166g Skyr yogurt
  • 3g salt

Dill Oil

  • 100g picked dill
  • 100g picked parsley
  • 400g pomace oil

For the Crab

  • 1 crab

To Make the Crab Butter

  • 30g picked crab meat
  • 30g cultured butter
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • Lemon

To Assemble the Dish

  • 75g crab butter
  • Dill oil
  • Chopped chives
  • Chopped Dill
  • Wet salt
  • 2 slices sourdough bread
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  1. You’ll need to make the cultured butter well in advance of serving this dish. Mix the cream and yoghurt together, cover with muslin cloth and leave to rest at room temperature for 24 hours. After that time, place the butter in the fridge for 24 hours.
  2. Put the butter in a large stand mixer with a whisk attachment and mix until it separates into butter and buttermilk, for approximately 7—10 minutes.
  3. Strain to remove the buttermilk and retain for further processing. Knead butter in ice water to release excess water. Wrap in muslin cloth and squeeze tightly before lying flat on parchment paper and seasoning with salt, folding in until well incorporated.
  4. Roll into ballotines and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  5. To make the dill oil, blanch the herbs in boiling salted water, and then cool in ice water. Squeeze out the herbs to remove all excess water and roughly chop.  
  6. Put the herbs and oil in a Thermomix and blend at 80°C for 5 minutes on high. Immediately transfer to a strainer lined with j-cloth set over a bowl.
  7. Allow the oil to drain through until only the herb residue remains in the j-cloth, this will take approximately 1.5 hours.
  8. Cook the live crab in boiling salted water for 8 minutes per kg, remove from water and allow to cool (do not cool in ice water).
  9. Crack the crab and remove all of the white meat from claws, legs, and head (retain crab heads for plating).  Pick three times to insure there’s no shell or cartilage remaining.
  10. To clean crab heads, remove all internal parts (reserving the brown meat for other dishes) and scrub clean. Boil in vinegar water before rinsing and using sharp scissors to trim the outer edge of the shell.
  11. Warm 30g of the crab meat with 30g of the cultured butter and 15g of unsalted butter, gently taking care not to split the butter by using excessive heat. Season as necessary. (You can use any additional crab meat and butter for other dishes.)
  12. To plate, spoon the crab mixture into the crab head and drizzle with the dill oil. Serve with two slices of fresh sourdough.

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