PRICE: £2.09 for 170g (drained weight is 120g)
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 100g):
Carbohydrate (including sugars): 0.1g
(of which saturates): 0.1g
(of which mono-unsaturates): 0.1g
(of which polyunsaturates): 0.1g
(of which sodium): 0.60g
Crab, water mains, salt, sugar, sodium hexametaphosphate, E450 (disodium diphosphate), E330 (citric acid), E223 (sodium metabisulphite)
Contains shellfish and sulphites
Although every care has been taken, some small pieces of shell may remain
After having been not too impressed with Morrisons' brand of tinned crabmeat (previously reviewed by me on DooyYoo), because it was virtually devoid of flavour, I still had an unsatisfied urge for some nice white undressed crab, so decided to give the Sainsbury's brand a try.
Sainsbury's White Crab Meat Chunks In Brine comes in a completely mustard-coloured, rather sober-looking tin, with white writing and the standard Sainsbury's logo. The sides of the tin give nutritional information, ingredients list, allergy information, and a warning that some pieces of shell may remain in the product.
Opting again for a late night crab sandwich and hoping for better fortunes than with the Morrisons' variety, I opened the tin and was greeted with the same circular piece of greasproof paper protecting the top of the product. Before removing the greasproof paper, I pressed the tin lid down hard, and drained as much of the brine away as was humanly possible.
Inside the tin, once the greaseproof paper had been removed and discarded, I was greeted with the site of some lovely little chunks of delicious-looking, pure white crab meat that was flecked with pink. The crab smell was sweet, and I then transferred the tin contents into a bowl, but without mashing up, as I wanted to keep the shape of the chunks.
With bread prepared for a sandwich at the ready, I spooned the crab chunks over one slice, then completed my sandwich - opting for no accompaniment, just plain crab.
It smelled beautiful, and got my stomach rumbling - so, time for the taste test.
Inside my mouth, the crab was tender, soft and sweet - not at all stringy when chewed, and it even tasted like fresh crab. There was no salty sensation at all from it having been soaked in brine, and as I continued to eat, I was thoroughly enjoying the sandwich, slowly savouring every mouthful.
I chewed very carefully, bearing in mind the warning on the tin that there may be small pieces of shell present, but on my first date with Sainsburys White Crab Meat Chunks, there were none. I subsequently bought two more tins, and one of those did have a small piece of shell inside - but I can't complain, as firstly it is crab and they are very difficult little buggers to de-shell, plus the clear and fair warning on the can is put there for a reason - so I had been suitably warned.
Since then, I have been slightly more adventurous with one of the tins of Sainsbury's White Crab Meat Chunks, in that I made a sandwich using it, and added a wodge of lettuce with a mix of green leaves (rocket, watercress & spinach) and a few slices of raw mushroom (no, I haven't turned into Keith and Candice-Marie lol - I just happen to like raw mushrooms in a sandwich). The result was beautiful, all of the accompaniments in the sandwich complimenting and enhancing the crab nicely.
I can remember back in the 1970s, there was a small fad of using seafood to fill vol-au-vents, which at the time were very fashionable wedding reception food. I'd imagine that Sainsbury's White Crab Meat Chunks would make very impressive vol-au-vents indeed, especially if the chunks were left whole and not turned into mush. I hate mayonnaise, so if I were to make some vol-au-vents myself, I'd moisten the crab meat with a little plain yoghurt instead.....but it's moist enough on its' own, so may not need anything extra.
This definitely is by far, the very best tinned crab I've tasted in my life. OK it's not cheap at £2.09 for a tin which (unless it was mixed with all sorts of other things to eke it out) I'd imagine most adults would consider a single portion, but I prefer to pay a bit more for something if it's heavenly, which this is.
If you love crab meat, I strongly recommend Sainsbury's own brand in brine, as it is truly delicious - as near as dammit to eating real, fresh white crab meat. Sweet, succulent, not salty, and utterly delicious! Take care to examine it for minute pieces of shell first though, as warned on the tin.
Thanks for reading!
I'm a sucker for all things crustacean. Fresh lobster, shrimp, crevette, crab - whatever it is, bring it on. I guess what I'm travelling my ultimate favourite winter treat is the Floridian stone crab. This delicacy is made all the more attractive because only its huge claw is harvested and the animal is thrown back into the ocean to grow a new one. Unfortunately it only has a short season from mid October to mid May.
In our part of the world cooked shrimp and prawns are available at most supermarkets. It is somewhat unusual though to find other than dressed crab - a half shell packed with miscellaneous flake white and coral meat, covered in a piece of polythene. Recently I found an alternative source of white crab meat which is almost as delicious as fresh caught and which can be used equally cold with salad or as an ingredient for several fish dishes.
Sainsbury's white crab meat comes from crabs caught by fishermen and prepared locally in Vietnam. The meat is taken from the claws and legs (there is no pink or coral used here). It is lightly simmered in salted water and added sugar, citric acid and preservatives. The meat is then broken up into thumbnail sized chunks, canned, labelled and shipped to the UK.
The label has a predominantly yellow background while the contents of the tin are identified in white and orange print. There is a picture of the silhouette of a shrimp boat. With the top removed the crab meat is protected with a layer of greaseproof and gives off a dainty and light salty seaside aroma. The meat has a pleasant sweet and salty crab flavour and a firm texture. To date I have not found any shards of shell in any one of the tins.
This is a very low calorie and low fat foodstuff. The drained weight of flesh is 120 grams (gross weight in the tin with the liquid is 170 grams) and 100 grams provides 77 kcals. One tin is sufficient for two people.
The price: £ 2.17 per can
Here's a delicious serving suggestion now that you have opened the tin of crab and admired the contents. The supermarkets still have good stocks of fresh asparagus. Combined with chicken and crab this most English of vegetables is very quick and easy to prepare but wonderful and filling dinner dish.
The origin of this recipe is attributed to King Oscar II of Sweden (1829 - 1907) who was reputed to thoroughly enjoy escallops of veal dressed with crab and asparagus. This alternative version using chicken is considered to be more politically correct.
Classic Chicken Oscar (Serves 4)
1 tin Sainsbury's White Crab Meat
4 chicken breasts (boned)
24 asparagus spears
1 small onion
Seasoning to taste.
Small quantity of Oil
Knob of butter
1 jar Sainsbury's Hollandaise sauce
Place each chicken breast between layers of cling film and beat flat with a rolling pin. Season flour with freshly milled pepper and dip both sides of the chicken to coat. Place the asparagus in slightly salted boiling water for about three minutes - the stalks should be tender but still slightly crisp. If used, you could tie the asparagus spears into a bundle and boil in an asparagus pot.
Melt the knob of butter with a small amount of oil in a skillet. Place the chicken breasts in the skillet, turning once, until cooked and each side is browned (about four minutes per side) Keep warm in a hot oven. In the mean time, finely chop the onion and the tomato. Add the onion to the skillet and cook over a moderate heat until it starts to caramelise. Then add the chopped tomato and season with a little more pepper (I also added a small quantity of paprika, mixed herbs and ground cinnamon), turn up the heat and mix together to dry off. Don't let the mixture burn! Turn down the heat again and add the drained crab meat. Stir thoroughly. Heat through the Hollandaise sauce.
To assemble the dish:
Place the chicken breast onto a plate Arrange six asparagus spears on top of the chicken. Then place a mound of the crab meat mixture on top of the asparagus and drizzle Hollandaise sauce over the assembly. Serve with boiled new potatoes
Irresistible! You could try making your own Hollandaise sauce if you have the time.