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Alaskan King Crab Beignets with Aïoli

By Kirsten Dixon From Moveable Feast Season 3, Ep.1
Scott Phillips

Servings: 10 to 12 as a starter; makes 30 to 32 beignets

King crabs are most often eaten as steamed crab legs dipped in butter, but here they’re incorporated into a savory beignet, with a nori-laced aïoli for dipping.


For the seaweed aïoli

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbs. chopped roasted seaweed, such as nori
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Dijon mustard, preferably Maille
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the beignets

  • 8 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 6 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 lb. Alaskan king crabmeat, lightly rinsed and coarsely chopped (from about 1 lb. in-shell crab)
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. sliced fresh chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Mixed greens of choice, for serving


Make the aïoli

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

Make the beignets

  • Pour the canola oil into a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or heavy-duty pot. Attach a deep-fry or candy thermometer to the side of the pot and heat the oil to 350°F.
  • In a heavy-bottom 3-quart saucepan, combine the butter, chicken broth, and a pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the flour and nutmeg. Using a wooden spoon, stir until a smooth dough forms and begins to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Transfer the mixture to a food processor. Pulse while adding 1 egg at a time, processing until they become incorporated into the dough, about 30 seconds each. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Fold in the crab, cheeses, and chives. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Fry about 6 beignets at a time, dropping the dough into the pot using 2 tablespoons. Turn the beignets occasionally with a slotted spoon, until they are golden on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Drain on a rack set over paper towels and season with salt as soon as they are removed from the pot.


  • On individual serving plates, arrange the beignets on a bed of mixed greens and serve the aïoli on the side.
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Reviews (1 review)

  • PoeticChampion | 12/28/2015

    I made these, substituting shrimp for the crab, and they are incredible. Light, tender and delicious. Even re-heated the next day, they were amazing.I served them with a nice prosecco and they totally rocked.

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