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Authentic Recipe of Txangurro Donostiarra. Mouthwatering Spanish Traditional Donostia-style Baked Spider Crab from Donostia-San Sebastián.

Learn how the gastronomic capital of Spain does its spider crabs. Txangurro Donostiarra is fresh, delicious, and appetizing. Need to say more?

Things to know about Txangurro Donostiarra Recipe

Nobody cooks seafood or food in general, like the Basques. They’re somewhat traditional, but they could be very innovative too. But in this recipe, we are going traditional and authentic but with a signature Basque touch.

It’s very simple to execute. It’s just that there are additional steps to follow, but overall, anyone can do it. The Txangurro a la Donostiarra is a baked tomato-based crab dish served in its shell – there’s no way to describe it truthfully.

And it’s really interesting because it’s not every day that you get to devour ridiculously fresh crab with its filling cooked with several other ingredients in its shell. It is enticing and delicious!

Mouthwatering Spanish Traditional Donostia-style Baked Spider Crab from Donostia-San Sebastián. Authentic Recipe of Txangurro Donostiarra.

Local Recipe Name with Local Characters: Txangurro a la Donostiarra
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— General Atributes of This Recipe:

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Occasional Cooking Weekend Family Meal Recipes


Servings 5 People
Calories / Serving 158 kcal


  • 2 pcs Spider Crab
  • 2 pcs White Onion
  • 1 stalk Leek – Onion Leek Large
  • 300 grams (10.58 oz) Canned Tomato Crushed
  • 150 ml (5.07 floz) Brandy
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 4 tbsp Breadcrumbs
  • 15 grams (0.53 oz) Fresh Parsley
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil As needed
  • Salt To taste
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  • Slice the onions and leeks into medium cubes. Set aside.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F).


  • In a stock pot, drop both crabs, and add water and salt generously. For each kilo of crab, it will take 10-11 minutes to cook, no more, no less.
  • When the crab is ready, place them immediately in a cold bath (bowl with ice and water), and allow them to cool.
  • When it is cold enough to handle, gently crack open the crab and get all of its meat inside, from all the parts. Make sure there’s nothing left.
  • See to it that opening the crab is done gently because the shell will be used when serving later on.

Txangurro a la Donostiarra

  • In a saucepan, add the oil and sauté the onions and leeks until they are soft and tender over medium heat. Be careful not to burn.
  • Add the brandy to the sautéed vegetables and flambé (expose directly to fire so the alcohol burns out and you are left with the flavor).
  • Add the crabmeat and sauté for about 8-10minutes. Add all the liquid that you can get out of the crab for extra flavor. Continue to mix.
  • Add the tomatoes and cook for about 12-15minutes, until the sour taste of the tomatoes goes away, and add the salt according to taste. Stir frequently.
  • When finished, remove from the pan and allow to cool and set for 3-5 minutes.
  • Once this is ready, fill the head/shell of the crab with the filling that was just made. Top with breadcrumbs, drizzle some olive oil, and dollops of butter.
  • Put the stuffed crab onto a baking sheet and bake until the top is golden brown. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
  • Pull out from the oven, garnish with parsley.
  • Transfer to a plate, and serve!

— Specific Atributes of This Recipe:

Seasonal Cooking Autumn Recipes, Summer Recipes


Calories: 158kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 349mgPotassium: 214mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 656IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Spanish Traditional Donostia-Style Baked Spider Crab, Txangurro a la Donostiarra Recipe
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What to serve with Txangurro Donostiarra?

If you want something light, this dish goes great with steamed rice or bread. Best paired with a glass of white wine.

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