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Dungeness Crab Cioppino

Michael Mina, Michael Mina, San Francisco / January 28th, 2013

Serves 4

  • 4 cooked Dungeness crabs (or 4 clusters of large snow crab or king crab legs), shells and meat separated
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 med. yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
  • 2 med. carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, core removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 red Fresno chiles or jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced
  • 4 Tbsps. tomato paste
  • stems from 1 bunch basil
  • 1 bottle white wine
  • 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 qt. clam juice
  • 4 oranges, juiced
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  1. Break up crab shells into small pieces; reserve.

  2. Heat oil in large saucepan over high heat; add crab shells; stir; sauté shells 5 minutes.

  3. Place coriander and fennel seeds in mesh tea ball; reserve.

  4. Add onions, leeks, carrots, fennel, celery, garlic, and chiles to saucepan; sweat vegetables until translucent (about 15 minutes).

  5. Stir in tomato paste; cook until beginning to brown; add basil stems; deglaze with wine; reduce by 1/2.

  6. Place mesh tea ball in pot; stir in tomatoes, clam juice, and orange juice; reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes.

  7. Remove tea ball; season, adding more chiles if desired; remove from heat; let cool slightly.

  8. Pour mixture into blender in batches; blend on low speed, enough to break up the shells; press through strainer; discard shells; return liquid to pot.

  9. To serve, place crabmeat in bottom of each serving bowl; pour cioppino broth tableside.