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Cooking with Rebecca Bent

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Fancy Creamy Spicy Crab: A celebrity chef dish made easy

The legendary restaurant Nobu, in Manhattan’s TriBeCa, serves this, and I think it’s one of the most addictive dishes I’ve ever tasted. The tobiko—tiny crunchy red roe—gives an incomparable texture to each mouthful. A former sous chef provided the recipe outline, which I’ve tweaked a bit for the home cook. If you don't feel like picking snow or king crab meat, consider using our blue crabmeat. I find it works just as well. Don't use the most expensive, but backfin or even claw meat works great. If you don't want to make homemade mayo, go ahead and use store-bought. Also, you can use crab roe here, if you like.

Creamy Spicy Crab
makes 4 servings

2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 turns of a pepper mill (preferably white pepper, but black pepper works)
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce, such as Sriracha
¼ cup tobiko (any seasoned flying fish roe); or use crab roe
1 pound prepared crabmeat (snow crab, king crab, or blue crab)
¼ cup scallions, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces

Make the mayonnaise: Place the egg yolks in a standing mixer and whip at
medium speed until well-mixed. Add the salt and pepper and pulse to mix well. Turn the blender to its highest speed and add ½ cup of the oil in a slow stream, until the mixture emulsifies and thickens.As it does so, you can add the oil
more quickly. Add the rice vinegar and continue blending. Add the remaining oil and continue blending. Transfer the mayonnaise to a medium bowl and stir in the chili sauce and tobiko. Taste carefully and adjust the flavor by adding
more vinegar.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the drained crabmeat in a 9-inch casserole and toss lightly with the scallions until well combined. Gently fold in ¼ of the mayonnaise mixture and again gently toss until the crab is lightly coated. Loosely pat down the crabmeat and cover it with the remaining sauce. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn on the broiler and run the casserole under the broiler until the top is golden brown, moving the dish constantly to make sure the entire top browns evenly. Serve at once.

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