Soft-shell crab paella

Wonderfully flavoured and aromatic soft shell crab paella with spicy chorizo and sprinkled with parsley is fantastic enjoyed for a midweek meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes

  • 12 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
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Soft-shell crab paella
  • 2 frozen soft-shell crabs, thawed
  • 2 1/2 cup (625ml) chicken stock
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • 1 pinch saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 spicy chorizo sausage, diced
  • 3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (220g) onion, diced
  • 1 cup (220g) paella rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet sherry
  • 12 vongole clams, pipis or mussels
  • 1 handful parsley leaves
  • lemon wedges, to serve


Soft-shell crab paella
  • 1
    To prepare crabs, remove tail flap on the underside, turn over and lift either side of the shell to remove gills. Remove face of crab, then quarter; cover and refrigerate until required.
  • 2
    In a large saucepan, bring stock, water and saffron threads to the boil.
  • 3
    Heat olive oil in a paella pan over high heat. Cook chorizo and onion, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add garlic; cook a further 1 minute.
  • 4
    Add rice; stir to coat in oil. Add paprika and sherry; allow sherry to evaporate. Add saffron-infused stock. Stir and reduce heat to medium; simmer 15 minutes.
  • 5
    Gently push crab and vongole into paella; cover with foil and cook 5 minutes, or until crab is cooked. A crust called the "socarrat" should from on the bottom of the pan (this is why you do not stir the dish after adding stock). If not, increase heat to high; cook 30-60 seconds to form the socarrat.
  • 6
    Remove from heat; sprinkle with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.


Buy good-quality chorizo as it differs in spiciness and lends a lot of flavour to the paella.