Pressed King Crab, Bok Choy and Mint

This dish is inspired by a recipe from an article on Georges Blanc in the Spring 2010 issue of Culinaire Saisonnier. This is a fairly simple preparation that emphasizes the flavor of king crab, one of my favorite ingredients. I recommend serving it with pancakes (pick a recipe from this post). Or if you’re in the mood for a more adventurous pairing, try it with a veal carpaccio, or a similarly-shaped veal tartare (maybe an adaptation of my Veal Dubrovnik) .

Although live king crabs are pretty expensive and hard to find, pre-cooked, frozen legs are usually of very good quality. Don’t discard the crab cooking liquid that runs when you thaw and shell the legs! It’s very tasty! It can be used in this recipe.

Mayonnaise
Yields 4 servings and leftover

1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp mustard
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp piment d’espelette
5 oz light olive oil
5 oz canola oil

  • Mix the lime juice, mustard, egg yolk, and piment d’espelette in a bowl. Pour the olive and canola oils in a thin stream while constantly whisking. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Assembly
Yields 4 servings

1 1/4 oz bok choy leaves
2 oz  crab cooking liquid, or water with 10% salt
1/4 tsp gelatin
10 oz king crab flesh
10 mint leaves, chiffonade
5 oz mayonnaise
1 radish
1 dash olive oil
salt
black pepper, ground

  • Cook the bok choy leaves in boiling water until soft, then drain and squeeze out as much water as possible. Heat the crab liquid (or salted water) and gelatin in the microwave until steaming, then transfer to a blender and process with the bok choy. Refrigerate until almost set.
  • In a bowl, mix the crab flesh, mint, and bok choy purée, then fold in the mayonnaise. You’ll notice the whole mixture does not use salt (unless you don’t have crab liquid): usually, cooked king crab is already salted. Fill 4 ring molds of 2 1/2″ diameter with the mixture, place weights on top and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Thinly slice the radish with a mandoline or a peeler, and toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. On each plate, unmold one pressed crab cylinder and decorate with a few slices of radish on top.