Saturday, June 10, 2023

How to make perfect corn and crab beignets with yaji aioli

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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And an impeccable beverage to finish them off!

A traditional beignet is made with yeast. They are native to New Orleans and are typically served with a strong chicory coffee for breakfast. The beignet recipe below is more of a savory take on this otherwise sweet dish.

Corn and crab beignets with yaji aioli


Yaji Spice Blend

  • ½ cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika


  • 2 large egg yolks*
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup peanut oil
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
  • Kosher salt
How to make perfect corn and crab beignets with yaji aioli

Beignets and assembly

  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 10 oz. frozen corn (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 8 oz. lump crabmeat, picked over
  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 6 cups)

Ingredient Info from the experts

  • * Raw egg is not recommended for the elderly, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems…or people who don’t like a raw egg.

Special Equipment

  • A deep-fry thermometer

Yaji Spice Blend

  1. Pulse peanuts in a food processor until very finely chopped (be careful not to go too far; if you overprocess, the peanuts will turn into butter). Add ginger, cayenne, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika and pulse until powderlike.
  2. Do ahead: Yaji can be made 3 months ahead. Transfer to an airtight container; cover and chill or freeze.


  1. Whisk egg yolks and lemon juice in a medium bowl to combine. Whisking constantly, add oil, starting with just a few drops at a time and gradually increasing to a fine steady stream. Whisk until all of the oil is incorporated and the mixture is emulsified about 4 minutes. Whisk in shallot, garlic, chives, and 1 Tbsp. yaji spice blend. Taste and season with salt.
  2. Do ahead: Aioli can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Beignets and assembly

  1. Melt butter in a medium high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly and bright yellow, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in chives; let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl.
  3. Add egg and buttermilk to corn mixture and stir to combine. Add dry ingredients and stir again just to incorporate, then fold in crab meat.
  4. Pour in oil to come 1½” upsides of a large pot or deep fryer. Fit the pot with the thermometer and heat oil over medium-high to 350°. Place a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet and line the rack with paper towels. Working in 4 or 5 batches, scoop out heaping tablespoons of batter, carefully place in oil (8–10 per batch) and fry, turning often, until beignets are golden brown and cooked through about 5 minutes. Transfer the beignets to the prepared rack; season with salt.
  5. Serve beignets warm with yaji aioli for dipping.

Café Amaretto Alcoholic Coffee Drink

  • 1 oz. Amaretto
  • 1/2 oz. Brandy
  • 6 oz. hot coffee
  • 1/4 cup whipped cream
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  1. Brew fresh coffee
  2. Pour the Amaretto into a warmed heat resistant mug.
  3. Add the brandy.
  4. Pour in the hot coffee.
  5. Top with whipped cream.
  6. Sprinkle cinnamon over whipped cream.
Expert Notes
  1. If you are looking for a hot alcoholic coffee drink with a bit more intensity try this Italian version.
Italian Coffee Variation:
  1. Use fresh hot Espresso rather than coffee.
  2. Add 3/4 oz. brandy
  3. add 3/4 oz. Amaretto
  4. Garnish as desired.

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