Crab & Preserved Lemon Risotto

"From the seafood cooking school Sydney."
photo by JustJanS photo by JustJanS
photo by JustJanS
photo by Chickee photo by Chickee
photo by Chickee photo by Chickee
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Pick meat from crabs and set aside.
  • Heat stock in a saucepan until simmering, then maintain at this heat.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan and fry onion over medium heat until soft but not coloured.
  • Add the rice and stir over a high heat until grains are well coated in oil and warmed through. Add white wine and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Reduce heat to medium, add stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next.
  • Continue until rice is tender, with a slight bite, and has a creamy consistency (about 20 minutes).
  • Add a final ladle or 2 of stock, preserved lemon, crabmeat, butter, parmesan (if using), salt (remembering that the butter, crab and preserved lemon are all salty) and pepper and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the butter is incorporated and the crab has broken up into thin wisps. The finished risotto should be quite soupy, the Venetians call it all'onde (wave-like).
  • Taste, add extra salt if needed, stir through chives and serve immediately.
  • Notes: You can use other types of crabs for this recipe, or 300g fresh crabmeat if you don't want to pick your own. Vialone nano is the preferred rice in the Veneto, where this soupy style of risotto is most popular, use arborio or carnaroli rice if it isn't available.

Questions & Replies

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  1. We thought this was restaurant qulity. It was simple but so delicious. I used 4 blue swimmer (manna) crabs and chose to leave the meat a little chunky as we work to hard picking it to not see it ;-) I had arborio rice on hand, used the parmesan and don't think I had quite two tablespoons of chives (but feel that didn't matter). I have had this recipe stashed away to make for such a long time and wonder why I haven't made it before.
  2. I made this with king crab and my lemon was simply soaked in hot water and salt for an hour. I only used the zest and the pulp and juice from the lemon, but it was a very good batch of risotto. I don't like mine soupy, so I cooked it like they do in southern Italy. Great stuff.


I'm 28, married, and with two furkids-a cute cat, she's an Australian Mist called Kismet, and a chocolate labrador called Indiana Jones. Live in North West Sydney, and have all my life except for a short stint in Germany just after we were married. I am an engineer by degree, but have recently left a large telecommunications company to work in a small Veterinary hospital as a vet nurse. I like camping and 4wding, fishing and horseriding, having parties and barbeques. We're ex-Scouts and still love to travel even if it's just a short break to the mountains, or to the wine regions. I love baking and experimenting with different cuisines. I wont cook things with too many ingredients, or that are too fiddly, or which take too long (or too expensive for that matter!). I'm a dab hand at modifying the 67c home brand packet cake. My husband is Swiss-Australian, so I have a bit of that European influence as well, and try to reproduce our favourite Swiss recipes as accurately as possible. I am hopefully trying for my Swiss citizenship once I've studied up for my interview! We love travelling, and after visiting Vietnam in 2008 I'm obsessed with both the country and the cuisine, it's so varied and fresh and amazing!
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