Nick Seward, who lives in Ross-on-Wye, was a chef at the Three Salmons in Usk where, back in 2009, he often used to serve a special delicacy he had created. This recipe involved using a particular variety of crab which moults its shell, creating a temporary soft shell. Before this shell can harden the crabs are harvested and then Nick would cook them in his own special way.
When the Abergavenny Food Festival was looking for someone to demonstrate hot street food they asked Nick to dish up his special crab and talk about it to the crowds.
Nick really enjoyed the experience of not only serving good food but entertaining people as well.
Since then Nick has developed his business, called the Mighty Soft Shell Crab, and attends street food events all over the country.
One of the first events he attended was a Christmas Fayre in Ross. He said the business has seen a natural progression from his initial idea. He told the Ross Gazette that he did not start by thinking this idea will make him rich, instead he cooked something he enjoyed and when he saw how much other people liked it so the business grew.
The crab comes from a Welsh supplier and timing is crucial as it has to be cooked within 24 hours after it has moulted its shell before its skin toughens into another shell.
Nick coats the crabs in a tempura batter before deep frying them. The crabs are served with home-made sweet chilli sauce and locally produced creme fraiche and they are served on flat breads.
Nick will be at the Street Food Circus in Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on August 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st if you fancy trying this unusual delicacy.
The Street Food Circus was one of the most popular events in Cardiff last summer. It is a colourful outdoor food festival and night market which features a circus Big Top as a communal dining hall.
With 20 rotating artisan food trucks and themed bars featuring the finest local craft ales and beers, this year’s event promises to be even more deliciously different.