Warm Crab Fondue

Photo: David E. Steele

Delicate, sweet peekytoe crab is the star of this satisfying and flavorful dish from chef Bil Taibe of The Whelk.


  • 1 cup white verjus

  • 1 cup white wine

  • ½ cup white-wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 12 ounces peekytoe crab, picked through for shells

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Canola oil, for frying

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • Grits for Warm Crab Fondue, for serving

  • Wasabi tobiko, for serving (optional)


  1. Place verjus, wine, vinegar, peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, and 2 shallots in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Strain into a medium saucepan; place over medium heat. Stir in butter until melted.

  2. Reduce heat to low and add crab and chives; season with salt and pepper. Cook until crab is heated through.

  3. Meanwhile, fill a high-sided skillet 2 inches high with oil; heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 300 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Place flour in a small bowl; add remaining 2 shallots and toss to coat. Add shallots to hot oil and cook until lightly browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain; season with salt and pepper.

  4. Divide grits evenly among small bowls. Top with crab mixture and shallots. Garnish with tobiko and serve.

Related Articles