Crab and Asian pear salad

January 29, 2009 4:25:05 PM PST
Executive chef and partner from One Market restaurant in San Francisco, Mark Dommen, shares a fresh, seasonal recipe for Dungeness crab and Asian pear salad.

Dungeness Crab & Asian Pear Salad Serves: 4


  • 2 each Asian pears
  • 1 each sprig mint, about 10 leaves
  • 1 each scallion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon olive oil
  • 1 each lemon, juiced
  • to taste sea salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces cleaned dungeness crab meat
  • 8 each dungeness crab legs
  • 2 each French breakfast radish
  • 2 ounces maché
  • 1 tablespoon basil oil, or substitute mild extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Straus organic yogurt
  • to garnish small mint leaves
  1. Peel the Asian pears and cut them into a julienne using a Japanese mandolin with the medium teeth, or into long strips, each approximately 1/8 inch by 1/8 inch.
  2. Place the pears into a mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of lemon olive oil, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, a pinch of cayenne pepper and sea salt to taste. Mix well and allow the flavors to meld.
  3. In the meantime, remove the mint leaves from the sprig; saving the very small leaves for garnish and cut the large mint leaves into a chiffonade.
  4. Finely dice the scallions and mix the mint and scallion into the Asian pear salad.
  5. In a separate bowl add the cleaned crabmeat, keeping the legs separate, and dress the meat with the remaining lemon juice and lemon olive oil. Mix well and reserve.
  6. Clean the radishes and cut them into a fine julienne.
  7. Wash the maché and dry in a salad spinner. Toss with a couple drops of lemon oil and lemon juice
  8. To plate the salad, place a tablespoon of yogurt in the center of four plates. Streak the yogurt in an artistic manner across the plate.
  9. Next, place four ring molds on top of the yogurt and divide the pear mixture between the ring molds and press with even pressure.
  10. Divide the crabmeat among the four ring molds press to compact the mixture in the ring.
  11. Carefully remove the rings; the Asian pear and crab should hold its shape.
  12. Top each salad with two pieces of leg meat and garnish the salad with the julienne radish.
  13. Place the maché on the plate in an artistic manner.
  14. Finish by drizzling with basil oil or a mild extra virgin olive oil and placing the small mint leaves around the plate.
About Mark Dommen: Since joining the Lark Creek Restaurant Group in 2004, Mark Dommen has upheld One Market's traditions of excellence and innovation in American cuisine. Among his professional accolades, he is a 2007 StarChefs "Rising Star."

After years of classical training with some of the world's culinary masters, Dommen's move to One Market marked his exciting debut on the San Francisco dining scene. He says, "At One Market, Bradley Ogden set the bar in creating sophisticated American fare and menus shaped by fresh-from-the-farm ingredients. I'm proud to continue their stellar reputation and to create my own interpretation of American dishes."

Dommen's seasonally changing menu includes inventive farm-fresh dishes such as Wild Nettle Risotto with Rabbit Meatballs and Black Trumpet Mushrooms; Beet Carpaccio with Marinated Rock Shrimp, Radish Sprouts and Crispy Ginger; and Braised Beef Cheeks with Celery Root Risotto. "I truly enjoy experimenting with the freshest of ingredients to create entirely new and unexpected dishes," says Chef Dommen. "I make a point each day to ensure that the menu is a reflection of the finest produce prepared in a unique, delicious and artistic way."

Dommen's contemporary American fare developed through his work in some of the world's most distinguished restaurants. Dommen began his career in the kitchen with Hubert Keller of San Francisco's Fleur de Lys, where Keller became Dommen's mentor in the art of contemporary French cuisine.

Dommen later spent four years in New York, honing his craft with one of his largest influences, Gray Kunz at Lespinasse and also with David Burke at Park Avenue Café. By the time he opened Palladin as Sous Chef for the legendary Chef Jean-Louis Palladin, his immersion in the art of French cuisine was complete. He then was invited to join Julia's Kitchen in Napa Valley as the opening Executive Chef. He describes his approach to cooking as "blending the freshest, seasonal ingredients from California, while using the classic French techniques I have honed from my previous experiences."

Some of Dommen's favorite dishes to make when not in the kitchen at One Market Restaurant include pizza and barbequed beer-can chicken cooked over apple wood chips. He enjoys skiing, golf, fishing, grape growing and making wine in his spare time.