Almond Crusted Soft-Shell Crab, with a Fennel and Artichoke Salad with Roasted Almond Puree

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 2 servings
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1 blood orange

1/2 small carrot

1 small artichoke

1 lemon

1/4 small bulb fennel

2 jumbo soft-shell crabs

Tempura Batter, recipe follows

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Salt and pepper

1 ounce mixed micro greens

Almond Brown Butter Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Almond Puree, recipe follows

Tempura Batter:

1 cup rice flour

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 cups soda water, ice cold

Kosher salt

Cayenne pepper

Almond Brown Butter Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoons sliced almonds

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons blood orange juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Almond Puree:

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1-pint chicken stock

Salt and pepper

1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Peel the oranges, leaving no pith, and segment ("V" cut between the membranes). Cut the segments into a small dice. Reserve the juice for the vinaigrette.
  2. Peel the carrot and shave on a mandoline with the julienne attachment.
  3. Peel off the outer leaves of the artichoke. Peel the skin at the base. Cut the top of the artichoke where the leaves start. Remove the choke. Cut into 4 wedges. Juice half the lemon in a quart of water and add to a saucepot. Add the cleaned artichoke and simmer until tender. Refresh in cold water and reserve.
  4. Peel the fennel and shave on a mandolin. Hold in acidulated water (water to cover with the other half of the lemon squeezed into it) until ready to use.
  5. Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
  6. Trim the bottom flap, eyes, and lungs of the crabs with a pair of kitchen scissors. Reserve.
  7. Submerge the crabs in the Tempura Batter. Sprinkle the top with the almonds. Deep-fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Reserve.
  8. Add the salad to a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and 1/2 of the vinaigrette. Arrange in the center of a plate. Arrange the crabs atop. Make 5 pools of the almond puree around the salad. Add the diced blood oranges to the remaining vinaigrette and drizzle around.

Tempura Batter:

  1. Put the rice flour, salt, and pepper into a mixing bowl and form a well in the center. Add the egg yolk and water to the center of the bowl all at once. Whisk, starting from the center slowly moving outward, incorporating the dry ingredients. Stop mixing when just incorporated. Reserve until ready to use in a cold place.

Almond Brown Butter Vinaigrette:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet until golden brown. Add the butter to a saucepot and cook over medium-high heat until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar, juice, salt, pepper, and nuts. Reserve.

Almond Puree:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet until golden brown. Add to a saucepot along with the chicken stock and simmer until the nuts are tender. Puree in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Pass through fine strainer. Put in a squirt bottle. Reserve warm until ready to use.