Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
Crab Balls with Grapefruit Salad Recipe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten The crab and grapefruit in this dish first appeared at the restaurant Spice Market tossed with cold glass noodles. Jean Georges Vongerichten decided it was a "messy pile," but liked the flavors, so he reconfigured them into crab balls rolled in panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and sesame seeds. The side salad is a fabulous mix of tart (grapefruit), spicy (Thai chile) and sweet (ginger syrup). ;) F&W Magazine, From: Jean Georges's Best Small Plates, Published, July 2006 edition. 2 hr 20 min freezing and thawing time.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced onions
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1⁄2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1⁄2 lb lump crabmeat or 1⁄2 lb peekytoe crabmeat, picked over and lightly shredded
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons mixed white and black sesame seeds
- 2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
- vegetable oil, for frying
- 1⁄4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
- 2 pink grapefruit
- 1 green Thai chile, minced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- MAKE THE CRAB BALLS:
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.
- Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 4 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch into the coconut milk until smooth.
- Add the coconut milk to the onion and cook over moderately high heat, whisking, until bubbling and thick, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Stir in the crabmeat and season with salt.
- Roll rounded tablespoons of the mixture into 20 small balls.
- Transfer the balls to a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, toss the panko with the sesame seeds.
- In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1 tablespoon of cornstarch until smooth.
- Dip the frozen crab balls into the egg mixture, letting any excess drip off.
- Dredge the crab balls in the panko mixture to coat thoroughly.
- Return the balls to the baking sheet and let stand at room temperature until thawed but not too soft.
- MAKE THE GRAPEFRUIT SALAD:
- In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, lemon juice and ginger and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
- Strain into a small bowl.
- Peel the grapefruits with a sharp knife, removing all of the bitter white pith.
- Cut in between the membranes to release the grapefruit sections.
- Transfer to a fine strainer set over a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes to drain as much as possible.
- Transfer the grapefruit sections to a medium bowl and gently toss with 3 tablespoons of the ginger syrup and the chile.
- Let stand for 5 minutes.
- In another small bowl, mix the remaining 1 tablespoon of ginger syrup with the soy sauce.
- In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 300°F
- Set a rack over a baking sheet.
- Fry the crab balls, about 4 at a time, until golden brown, about 1 minute; transfer to the rack to drain while you fry the rest.
- Mound the grapefruit salad in shallow bowls or plates.
- Arrange the crab balls next to the grapefruit.
- Pour a puddle of soy syrup on the other side of the crab balls and serve at once.
- *WINE PAIRING:. The tart-spicy-sweet combination in these crab balls pairs nicely with a white that has a touch of sweetness, like an off-dry Riesling.