Mock Crab recipe

This is a recipe that has been passed down at least 3 generations of our family.  It is called Mock Crab, because it supposedly looks like crab, although I can’t confirm this, as I’ve never cooked crab.  It is actually an egg recipe and is very tasty and quick to make, enjoyed by adults and children.  Our family has it at least once or twice every month.  And when I was a child, my mum always used to make it for our supper when we got home from holiday after a long drive.

Ingredients

4 eggs
1 tin of plum tomatoes
25g butter
100g grated cheese
Salt and pepper

Method

Strain the juice from the tomatoes and chop.
Beat the eggs.
Melt the butter in a pan.
Add beaten eggs and chopped tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add grated cheese, when egg mixture is starting to set.
Continue to cook until fully set.
Serve hot on toast.
Any leftovers can be served cold in a sandwich.

mock crab mock crab

This post is an entry for the #eggmainsinminutes Linky on BritMums, sponsored by British Lion Eggs.  You can see more egg recipes on the Main Meals in Minutes site www.eggrecipes.co.uk/mealsinminutes.

I don’t know anybody else who is aware of this recipe but as this page gets the most hits on my blog, I assume some of you have been searching for Mock Crab. Do tell me why and where you first heard about Mock Crab. I’m wondering if it is perhaps a regional recipe like my Floddie?

From comments so far, it seems to usually be a recipe remembered from years gone by.

And I’d love to hear your favourite egg recipes too.

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57 thoughts on “Mock Crab recipe

  1. Sarah Steer

    I’m from Whitley Bay originally, my family has a mock crab recipe similar to this but not quite the same. We use fresh skinned tomatoes, more cheese, mustard and only one egg, and it’s cooked in a sort of bain marie (glass bowl sitting in a pan of simmering water) til it sets. Once cooked we use it like a sandwich spread, it is a family favourite passed down through at least four generations.

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    1. mumjd Post author

      Sounds a good way of doing it as probably less likely to stick. I’ve used fresh when I have a glut from the garden and made extra sometimes for sandwich too

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    2. Susan McPherson

      I’m also from N Yorks! I can remember having something like this as a child. I just have this vague recollection of it being done a yellowish-cream coloured enamel dish, which I thought was baked in the oven. When I quizzed my mum years later, she thought it was probably mock crab. Sadly, I don’t remember if she told me what was in it or how to make it. I keep looking from time to time and have today found your recipe which sounds the closest to what I can remember. Like some of the other people, I though fresh tomatoes were used but can’t remember if they were sliced, cut into chunks skinned . . . ? I am definitely going to try this though and have a read through the other comments and try their variations as well. 😋😋

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  2. Jo

    My nanna from Pickering, North Yorkshire used to make us mock crab sandwiches. I’m not sure if they had a tiny bit of mustard added. Yours is the closest recipe I could find. She probably used a couple of skinned fresh tomatoes as opposed to tinned. Looking forward to trying it. Very nostalgic!

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    1. mumjd Post author

      Mustard sounds a great addition. My mum would sometimes use fresh tomatoes, partiicularly if we had a glut in the garden. I can’t recall whether she skinned them or not. I’ve always tended to avoid recipes where that is a necessity, as I find it quite fiddly

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  3. Anonymous

    My mum made it for sandwiches in the 50 s and 60 s , lve lost her recipe but l know she used to fry a bit of onion first , I’m going to use it as a toastie filling

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  4. John Furnish

    I was born and bred in the Yorkshire Dales, this was a staple for us, it used up any tomatoes, which mum always skinned, thanks for bringing back the memories

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    1. mumjd Post author

      Yes my mum used fresh tomatoes if we had a glut, but I don’t recall her skinning them, as I guess that is quite time consuming, but I usually do it with tinned tomatoes

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  5. madeleine

    My dad, who was from Yorkshire, use to make this for us as sandwich filling. My mum has recently tried to make it having found 2x recipes for it in a Keighley Parish cookbook from the 1940’s but it doesn’t taste the same as the one dad use to make. So I googled and found your recipe which I will share with my mum, thanks

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  6. Diana Forsythe

    My mum used to make this a very long time ago but Im sure she put onion in it and it was so delious it never ever got into a sandwich , I was thinking of giving it a go . Still an old time favourite

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  7. Anonymous

    My Granny used to make mock crab. Used to watch when she made it. Her cheese was always left out to harden before she grated it, She used an orange coloured cheese, I have bought some Leister cheese just to try it. The tomatoes were skinned, de-seeded and chopped very small. We lived in Northumberland and as far as I know the recipe was passed down. Granny was born in 1905. Glad to see that other people have the same good memories.

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  8. Anonymous

    Make something similar with fresh tomatoes, tomato puree and add onions. Believe it’s a traditional recipe (possibly from Yorkshire) as my partner’s mum used tomake it.

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    1. mumjd Post author

      I can remember from childhood one occasion when my mum even included a few green tomatoes, when there were too many which wouldn’t ripen at the end of the season

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  9. Chris R

    My Mum used to make it all the time . She always threw in chopped onion. Always thought the recipe had died with her . Thank you for bringing her memory back to life

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  10. Sian

    Finally someone else who knows what mock crab is!! I cook it regularly for my Scottish husband and children-who thought I was making it up when I first said I was making mock crab. My dad would make it often for us, usually as supper on a Sunday 🙂 I am born and bred in Leeds, yorkshire and would be interested to know if it is a regional recipe.

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  11. chinupmrs

    I thought this recipe was made up in our family, but after googling it’s more far spread then we’d thought, my grandmother makes it’s still as did her Mum, and Mum before that. She portions it up and we all get a pot, it’s lovely cold with crackers. She uses fresh tomatoes and English or Dijon mustard. Nice to see all the variations going round 🙌🏻

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  12. Mary Judd

    Wondering what to do with a big lump of cheese, remembered my mom (born 1907)
    used to make it just after the war as a teatime snack. I intend to make it tomorrow for lunch . Glad to find your recipe.
    Mary in the North West

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  13. Diane

    Been looking for a recipe for this for ages, had it as a kid but couldn’t remember what was in it! Knew it was tomato and egg but I had forgotten Cheese! Thank you

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  14. Graham Dodgson

    Same sort of ingredients – grate one onion and soften in a pan with some oil/butter. Shop in one peeled onion. Salt and pepper. Add plenty of grated cheese and when its all melted and 1 egg. Let cool and use for sandwiches.

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      1. Cathy

        Mock crab was a dish my great grandmother made when I was a child in the 60s – she was born in 1885 and spent most of her life in Kent. She used an ancient handwritten recipe, which was sadly lost. I knew it was cheese, eggs and tomatoes but great to get a proper recipe now – thank you! I’ve got a vague recollection of her doing it in a double boiler.

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      2. mumjd Post author

        The double boiler is interesting. My mum had one of those which she used for lemon curd, but she used an ordinary pan for mock crab

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  15. John E

    I have encountered delicious mock crab and horrible mock crab too. My preference is to use plenty of fresh tomato flesh (minimum of juice, no skin), unsalted butter and 1 egg.
    Simmer the tomato and butter for 15 mins or so, remove from heat, stir in lightly whipped egg, simmer for a few moments and then cool before spreading on sandwiches. Adding a little chopped marjoram is enjoyable.

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  16. Maureen Ann Carey

    my best friend died and her husband asked me how to make it so I googeled it and made it myself lovely really enjoyed.

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  17. thefragile

    Thank you so much for this. My grandfather aka Gramps made this for me many times when I was a youngster. It was my comfort food on cold autumn evenings. I’m going to make a batch of this tomorrow. And relive my happy memories.

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