Fresh Crab Escabèche


David Kinch's version of escabèche (marinated cooked seafood) combines sweet crab and crisp vegetables in a spiced-vinegar mix. Slideshow: Salads with Seafood 

Fresh Crab Escabèche
Photo: © Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
8 to 10


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 1/2 cups pure olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 1 large carrot, cut into fine matchsticks

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

  • Small pinch of saffron threads

  • Salt

  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo lump crab, picked over

  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • Crusty bread, for serving


  1. In a large saucepan, toast the coriander, fennel and cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the seeds to a plate and let cool. Finely grind the spices and return them to the saucepan. Add the olive oil, onion, shallot, bell pepper, garlic, carrot and sherry vinegar and bring to a gentle simmer over moderately low heat. Cook until the bell pepper is crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and saffron and season with salt. Let cool.

  2. Put the crab and parsley in a large bowl and pour the escabèche mixture on top. Gently toss, being careful not to break up the crab. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with crusty bread.

Suggested Pairing

Serve this bright escabèche with a tangy, medium-bodied California Sauvignon Blanc.

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