Crab Fritters & Spicy Aioli Recipe

Executive chef Oliver Beckert, at the Four Seasons Hotel's Yew in Vancouver, serves up local ingredients such as fresh-off-the-boat Dungeness crab in these crisp and airy fritters.


Béchamel Sauce
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
1-1/4 cups milk
Salt to taste

Crab Fritters
1/4 lb. fresh Dungeness crab, picked through
1/4 cup béchamel sauce (recipe below)
2 tbsp carrot, finely diced
2 tbsp daikon radish, finely diced
1 tbsp pickled ginger, finely chopped
1 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Spicy Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1/8 tsp grated lime zest
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste


Béchamel Sauce

Step 1: In a small heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter. Add flour and stir over low heat until just barely coloured. Gradually, add the milk, stirring each time until all is incorporated.

Step 2: Cook slowly, stirring continually for 5-10 minutes, or until there is no remaining taste of raw flour and all the milk has been used. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and chill. (This makes more sauce than you will need for this recipe.)


Step 1: Drain as much moisture as possible from the crabmeat. Combine with the remaining ingredients, adding only enough be?chamel to bind the mixture. Form into balls and freeze.

Step 2: Once frozen, bread the crab fritters by first dredging in flour, then coating with egg and, finally, panko crumbs.

Step 3: Fry the crab fritters in oil heated to 350°F until golden brown and crispy. If cooking from frozen, place them in a hot oven for a few minutes to warm through before frying. Serve with Spicy Aioli.

Spicy Aioli

Step 1: Whisk together the mayo, hot sauce (you can add more, if you like) and fish sauce. Add fresh lime zest and juice to taste, and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 to 3 people


© A. Sanchez