Dungeness Crab Salad

This terrific recipe comes to us from Mark Dommen of San Francisco's acclaimed One Market Restaurant, where it is one of their most popular dishes. Mark was named a Food & Wine magazine Rising Star Chef in 2007, and deservedly so. This dish will delight your guests, and is relatively easy to make, despite the large number of ingredients and multiple steps. The directions below are what Mark's staff uses in the kitchen, so they're very precise. But you can substitute ingredients to fit the season and local availability, so think of this as a "backbone" recipe for you to play with.
2 cups Fresh squeezed orange juice, strained no pulp 2 cups Fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice, strained no pulp 2 Indonesian long peppers ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns 1 tsp Salt, plus more to taste 3 Egg whites 3 Gelatin sheets 1 Pink grapefruit 1 Blood orange 1 Cara cara orange 1 Orange 1 Dungeness crab, cracked and cleaned 2 French breakfast radishes 1 Avocado 6 tsp DaVero Meyer lemon olive oil 1 Meyer lemon, juice ½ oz Radish sprouts ¼ oz Micro cilantro Fresh ground pepper Malden sea salt
Begin by making the consommé. Combine the orange juice and grapefruit juice into a small sauce pot over medium to low heat. Smash the Indonesian long peppers with a mallet and add it to the juices, also add the Sichuan peppercorns and the teaspoon of salt. Heat this mixture to about 135 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl whip the egg whites until slightly frothy. Add the egg whites to the citrus juices, whisking continuously and return it to low heat. The egg whites will clarify the juices as they rise to the surface, this is called a raft. Keep a close eye on the raft and do not allow it to boil. Boiling will make your consommé cloudy. When the raft has risen to the surface, using a spoon, carefully poke a hole in it, this will give you access to the consommé without damaging the raft. Line a strainer with a coffee filter and ladle the consommé through the hole into the coffee filter which will help trap all the impurities as it strains. The coffee filter is very fine so this will require a bit of patience and time to allow the consommé to completely drip through the filter. Soak the 3 sheets of gelatin in ice water until it’s soft. Meanwhile, peel the grapefruit, blood orange, cara cara orange and orange using a knife. In order to do this, slice a circular piece off the top and bottom of each fruit. Then cut along the edge of the fruit just behind the white membrane (pith) so that there is no pith left on the citrus fruit. Next with a paring knife, remove the “supremes” or segments from each piece of fruit. This is done by making two slices, one on each side of the segment's membrane. There should be at least 10 segments in each piece of citrus. Set aside. When the consommé is done straining, you should have about 3 cups yield. Put one cup in a pot over medium heat. Remove the gelatin from the ice water squeeze out any excess water and add it to the hot consommé until it dissolves. Add this hot liquid back into the rest of the consommé and stir well. Taste it to make sure it’s properly seasoned and then put into a shallow container and place into the refrigerator to cool and gel. Separate the crab meat from the shells. A 2 pound crab yields about 10 ounces of cleaned crab meat. Separate the body meat from the legs, keeping the leg and claw meat in as large pieces as you can. Clean the radishes and leave a little of the green stem and smaller leaves attached. Slice them very thin lengthwise using a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, use a sharp knife and slice them as thin as possible. Peel and quarter the avocado. Toss the crab body meat with 1 teaspoon of Meyer lemon oil, season to taste with salt, pepper and some of the Meyer lemon juice. To present the salad, divide the crab meat onto four plates. I like to use two tablespoons to make quenelle (football-like) shapes out of them. Next, place a ¼ of an avocado on each plate in a random fashion. Then place all the citrus segments artistically around the plate. Season the crab leg and claw meat just like the body meat, and place around the plate as well. Next, divide the chilled consommé among the four plates. Top the dish with the sliced radishes, radish sprouts, and micro cilantro. Finally, drizzle Meyer lemon olive oil over each plate and sprinkle with a little Malden sea salt.
Posted in Appetizers, Meyer Lemon, Salads
4 comments on “Dungeness Crab Salad
  1. Mary Angelo says:

    Unfortuantely, this recipe is too EXOTIC for my region!

    The moment I attempted to prepare it…I had a PROBLEM finding the suggested ingredients. 🙁

    For example where can I purchase gelatin sheets (is it the “same” formula as Knoxx “unflavored” gelatin, if so, how much should I use)?

    Where can I find blood oranges, Indonesian long peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, French Breakfast Radishes?

    Can these “exotic” items be substituted with the following: yellow banana peppers, Trader Joe’s Brand bottled peppercorns, any type of organic radishes?

    Will the “distinct” character of the recipe be altered?

    Anyone have another tasty “CRAB SALAD” recipe to share?

    Hopefully the ingredients can be found at supermarkets, farmer markets located in the south
    -Mary Angelo
    (Little Rock, AK).

    Thanks! I am definitely living in the wrong territory to take advantage of this WOWSOME RECIPE! 🙁

  2. Ridge says:


    Thanks for asking! Here are some options for you:

    An envelope of granulated gelatin, or 1 tablespoon, is equal to 4 gelatin sheets.

    You can substitute tangerines for blood oranges, but you may be able to find blood oranges at Whole Foods. Cara Caras would also work.

    You can substitute a Serrano chile for the Indonesian long peppers (you want some heat), and red peppercorns for the Sichuans (though again, try Whole Foods).

    And yes, any radish will do!

    Bottom line: a good part of this dish is the feast of colors, which is why Mark was so specific on the ingredients.

  3. Deb says:

    What Limoncello do you recomend and where to get it?

  4. Ridge says:

    It’s easy to make your own using our recipe (http://www.davero.com/recipes/?p=25), or you can find it at most reputable wine shops and liquor stores.

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