Crab Beignets with Aïoli Dipping Sauce

May 21, 2011
Author Notes

These crispy morsels are so delicious you will find yourself unable to stop eating them. If you serve them for a party, plan on hiring someone just to fry them, or you’ll be stuck behind the stove. Your guests will keep asking for more! Aïoli makes the perfect dipping sauce. (You want it to be a bit loose.) - ChefJune —ChefJune

Test Kitchen Notes

These are the bounciest beignets you'll ever taste, partnered with a punchy aioli. ChefJune sticks to her convictions, using all olive oil and lots of egg yolk and garlic to great effect here, against fritters studded with sweet crab. We loved her use of vinegar-softened breadcrumbs in the aioli -- a traditional Provençal technique which bolsters and thickens the sauce, threading a subtle vinegary aroma through without compromising the aioli's smooth, buttery texture. - A&M —The Editors

  • Serves 4-6 servings (about 28 beignets)
  • Crab Beignets
  • 8 ounces cooked lump crab meat
  • 1 cup organic unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (I only use Rumfords)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pimiento, chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 4 drops Cholula Hot Sauce
  • Vegetable oil for frying (canola or peanut work well)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Aïoli
  • 1 tablespoon fine, dry, unflavored breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
In This Recipe
  1. Crab Beignets
  2. Pick over the crab meat to remove any traces of shell. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients except the oil and lemon wedges with 1 cup of water. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat a couple of inches of oil in a deep heavy pot to 325 degrees F. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure not to crowd the beignets in the hot oil, or they won’t fry evenly. Drain and serve hot with a lemon wedge and the aioli.
  4. Teacher’s Tip: It’s important to have your oil at the right temperature. Too hot, and your beignets will burn – too cold, and the beignets will absorb the oil and become greasy and unpleasant.
  5. Wine Tip: A sparkling wine would be just right with these crispy morsels, or a well chilled Alsatian Riesling.
  1. Aïoli
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the vinegar for 5 minutes, then squeeze the crumbs dry in the corner of a towel.
  3. In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, chop the garlic, then add the crumbs and combine with the garlic to make a smooth paste. Add egg yolks, salt and white pepper and combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Now, with the motor running, add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. When all the oil is in, you have aïoli.

See Reviews

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Chef Devaux
    Chef Devaux
  • MWolfIII
  • nancy essig
    nancy essig
  • Lori Darnell
    Lori Darnell
  • Mamen
30+ years a chef, educator, writer, consultant, "winie," travel guide/coordinator