Chesapeake Bay Blue Crab Hot Pot

Recipe courtesy of Zola Restaurant
TOTAL TIME: 72 hr 50 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 72 hr
Cook: 35 min
YIELD: 4 (8-ounce) servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 6 fresh blue crabs, cut in 1/2
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 fennel bulb
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-ounce jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over
  • 1 teaspoon pickled ramps or shallots, recipe follows
  • 1 tablespoon sauteed shitakes
  • 1 teaspoon creme fraiche
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound ramps
  • Kosher salt
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In a heavy-gauged pot on medium to high heat add the grapeseed oil. When a light haze rises from the pan, add all of the crab. The blue crabs contain water so you must cook them until this liquid has evaporated. Then add the butter. Allow the milk solids to fall and when the butter stops foaming add the vegetables and cook until translucent. Add the coriander seed and brown lightly. Add the tomato paste and chopped tomato and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes. Deglaze with the white wine, scraping up any bits sticking to the pan. Add the water and chicken stock. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add the bay leaf and thyme cook an additional 10 minutes. Press the whole mixture into a strainer. The broth should have small pieces of the vegetables from the cooking of the crab. Check and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Divide evenly and garnish each with some of the crab, pickled ramps, sauteed shiitakes and creme fraiche.
Combine the sugar, vinegar, and water and bring to a boil. Add the mustard, coriander, fennel seeds, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Blanch and shock ramps, strain, and pour the warm pickling liquid over the ramps. Let cool and store for 3 days before using.



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