Recipe: Crab Fritters

This fall, Håkan Swahn and team reopened two-MICHELIN-starred Aquavit in Midtown Manhattan after an extensive renovation. Quite possibly the biggest addition to the space is the new 40-seat bar and lounge, complete with a crowd-pleasing bar menu. A collaboration between executive chef Emma Bengtsson, her sous chefs and Swahn, highlighted dishes at the bar include dill chips and onion dip, a fried cod sandwich with apple remoulade and horseradish, and a New York strip with Dijon hollandaise.

Also on the menu are crispy crab fritters served with a side of espelette mayonnaise. Here’s how to make the fritters at home.

Crab Fritters

Courtesy of Executive Chef Emma Bengtsson, Aquavit, New York City


5.3 ounces onion, braised and cut into brunoise
3.5 ounces butter
10 ounces crab meat, excess water drained
5.3 ounces cream cheese
2 teaspoons horseradish
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 whole eggs
1 cup panko
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Oil, for frying


Heat a medium skillet over medium flame; add onion and butter to the pan and cook until onion is white and translucent. Cool and reserve.

2. Combine onions, crab, cream cheese, horseradish, lemon zest, salt and cayenne in a bowl and mix to combine. Place in freezer for 30 minutes to firm.

3. Roll the batter into 1-inch balls and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper; freeze again for 30 minutes. 

4. Whisk the eggs and place into a bowl; add panko and flour to two separate bowls. Dip the crab balls into the flour, then dip in egg wash and finally into the panko. Place on a new sheet tray lined with parchment paper and store in a freezer until oil temperature is ready for frying. 

5. Heat 2 quarts oil to 350˚F; place crab balls in oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes; remove and drain on paper towel and serve immediately.

Photo courtesy of Aquavit.

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