Deviled Crab Recipe from ACRE Kitchen and Bar

We especially enjoyed ACRE Chef Dirk Tolsma’s Deviled Crab with endive leaves and Cult Crackers. (Photos: left, by Edible East Bay, right, courtesy of ACRE Kitchen and Bar)


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Deviled Crab

  • Author: Chef Dirk Tolsma


I love doing deviled crab at dinner parties because it has a lot of the same characteristics as a crab cake but is less labor intensive for large groups. This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated, and then baked right before serving. At ACRE, we serve it in little crab-shaped ramekins with toast and lemon, but it can also work as a small entrée with a crisp green salad on the side.

ACRE Kitchen and Bar | 5655 College Avenue, Oakland | 510.250.3790 |


Units Scale

For the Deviled Crab

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 small shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, minced
  • 1 pound crabmeat
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons berbere spice mix (purchased or made from recipe below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional or to taste)
  • Salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (Panko works well)
  • 1 stick butter, melted (about 1/2 cup)
  • Lemons for serving

For the Berbere Spice Mix 
Adapted with permission from Tanya Holland’s California Soul

  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 3 chile de árbol pods, stems removed (seeds removed as well if you want it less spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 allspice berries
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg


To prepare the Deviled Crab

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add diced shallots and sauté for a few minutes until they turn translucent. Add the garlic and chile and cook another minute or 2. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, combine crabmeat with the scallions, parsley, Worchester, and spices. Add the breadcrumbs and mix well.

When the shallot mixture has cooled, add it to the bowl with the crabmeat. Combine thoroughly and then stuff the mixture into a small oven-safe casserole dish. Melt the butter and pour it over top before putting the dish in the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with wedges of lemon and serve on crackers.

To prepare the Berbere Spice Mix

Remove the pods from the cardamom to reveal the seeds inside. Discard the pods. Combine the cardamom, arbol chiles, fenugreek, coriander, allspice, and cloves and toast them in a small pan over low heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Place the mixture in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Place the mixture in a small bowl along with the paprika turmeric, salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and mix well. Store the spice mix in a sealed jar for up to 6 months.


We enjoyed our Deviled Crab with endive leaves (grown in Rio Vista) and our favorite crackers, the delicious, Berkeley-made, gluten-free Cult Crackers.

  • Category: Seafood, Condiments

Keywords: Deviled Crab, Dip, Berbere Spice Mix, Condiments