Crab salad with deep-fried crab 'bon bons' and smoked bacon aioli
Crab takes centre stage in this dish, showcased in a salad, a dressing and deep-fried savoury 'bon bons'.
For the dressing
For the crab 'bon bons'
For the smoked bacon aioli
For the crab salad
- 250g/9oz white crab claw meat
- 1 red chicory, very finely sliced
- ½ fennel, very finely sliced
- 1 red chilli, diced
- 1 lime, juice only
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- micro herbs, such as coriander or red amaranth, to garnish
To make the dressing, preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Place the crab shells, carrot, fennel, onion and celery on a baking tray and roast for 20–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden. Transfer the roasted shells and vegetables to a large saucepan. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 1 hour. Strain, place back in the saucepan and cook to reduce down in volume to a sauce consistency. Mix the oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Pour this into the stock mixture, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
To make the crab 'bon bons', preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Mix the crab meat, spring onions, ginger, garlic, dill and lime juice together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Roll into small balls, about the size of golf balls. Place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate wide bowls and dip the balls into each bowl in turn. Deep fry for 2–3 minutes or until golden-brown, then transfer to kitchen paper to cool.
To make the smoked bacon aioli, place the egg yolks into a food processor and, while the motor is running, pour the oil in gradually and very slowly until well combined and the mixture is thick and glossy. Add the garlic and bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice. Scatter the bacon over the top.
To make the crab salad, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the salad into a large serving bowl, pour over the dressing and top with the bon bons. Spoon over the aioli, garnish with the micro herbs and serve.