Dungeness Crab Roll with Carrot Salad and Vegetable Essences
Crisp crab rolls stand at attention beside a tangy carrot salad on plates filled with bright color -- carrot essence, beet essence, and parsley essence. The crab rolls are filled with remoulade-dressed crab, mushrooms, celery, and mint. Using rice paper sheets in a double layer gives the rolls an extra-crisp exterior, but the filling still shows through the translucent sheets. When you can’t find crab meat, chopped shrimp would substitute.
- Remoulade Sauce
- Egg Yolks - 2
- Dijon mustard - 2 teaspoons
- Lemon zest and Juice - zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Olive Oil - 6 tablespoons
- Crab Rolls
- Rice Sheet Rounds - eight, 10-inch
- Dungeness crab meat - 1-1/2 cups, or other crab meat
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 1/2 cup, cut in fine julienne
- Celery Heart Leaf Sprigs - 8, each 2-1/2 inches long
- Mint leaves - 16
- Peanut or canola oil - for frying
- Carrot Essence and Salad
- Carrots - 4, large, or 1-1/2 cups carrot juice
- Thai fish sauce (nam pla) - 1 teaspoon
- Clove Garlic - 1, minced
- Lime Juice and Zest - 1 lime
- Olive Oil - 1-1/2 cups
- Carrots - 2 large, cut in fine julienne
- Beet Essence
- Beets - 4 large, peeled, or 1-1/2 cups beet juice
- Olive Oil - 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley Essence
- Flat leaf parsley - 2 bunches, stemmed
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Olive Oil - 1 cup
- Parsley Sprigs - 4, 8 whole chives
To make the remoulade sauce: Place the yolks, mustard, and lemon zest and juice in a food processor. Turn on to process at high speed and slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube. The mixture will thicken as the olive oil is incorporated. Remove and set aside.
To begin the rolls: Place the rice sheet rounds between dampened towels to soften. Pick through the crab to remove any shell. In a large bowl, gently toss the crab meat with the remoulade sauce. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the carrot essence and salad: If starting with raw carrots, clean them and run through a juice extractor; you should have 1-1/2 cups juice. Put the juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. It will become syrupy. Place the carrot syrup in a food processor with the fish sauce, garlic, lime juice and zest, and olive oil and blend together to make carrot vinaigrette. Toss the julienned carrots with half of the carrot vinaigrette. Put the remaining vinaigrette in a squeeze bottle.
To make the beet essence: If starting with raw beets, run through a juice extractor; you should have 1-1/2 cups juice. Put the juice in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup. It will become syrupy. Let cool to room temperature, then whisk in the olive oil and salt and pepper. Put in a squeeze bottle.
To make the parsley essence: Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Put in a squeeze bottle.
To make the rolls: Lay the rice sheet rounds on a work surface. Place 4 mint leaves down the center of each. Divide the mushrooms between the rolls. Add two celery sprigs to each. Divide the crab mixture among the rolls and mound over the other ingredients, keeping a 1-1/2-inch margin. Sprinkle a few shreds of carrot salad on each. Turn up the bottom of the sheets to cover the filling. Fold in the sides. Roll up completely. Moisten the last flap with a little water and press to seal. Wrap each crab roll in a second sheet of rice paper, rolling up the same way. The rolls should be about four inches long when finished.
Heat the oil to 375 F in a deep fat fryer or deep saucepan. Using tongs, place the rolls in the oil, being careful not to crowd them (fry in two batches if necessary). Fry until crisp, but still light in color, 20 - 30 seconds per side. Lift out with tongs and drain on paper towels.
To serve: Drizzle carrot essence on each plate. Turn the plates one-third turn and drizzle beet essence on each. Turn the plates another one-third turn and drizzle with parsley essence. Make a mound of carrot salad on each plate in the center. Cut the hot crab rolls in half on the diagonal and stand points-up by the salad. Garnish with parsley sprigs or whole chives.