Curried Seafood Soufflé

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Six to eight


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About


  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned crab meat or other seafood
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. Using the fingers, rub the inside of a 2-quart soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Make certain the butter covers all the bottom and sides. Place the dish briefly in the freezer or refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Place the crab in a mixing bowl and carefully pick over the crab to remove all traces of shell or cartilage. Set crab aside.

  4. Melt the remaining butter in a saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until the onion is wilted; do not let it brown. Add the flour and curry powder and keep on stirring around and around until the flour is blended with the other ingredients.

  5. Add the milk, stirring constantly and rapidly with a wire whisk. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce is thickened and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Continue cooking and stirring over low heat for about 1 minute. The sauce should be quite thick.

  6. In a small bowl blend together the cornstarch and water and add to the sauce, stirring constantly. Continue cooking for about 1 minute. Add the cayenne pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

  7. Break the eggs, one at a time, letting the whites fall into a mixing bowl. Drop the yolks into another small mixing bowl.

  8. Using a rubber spatula, add the yolks to the sauce and beat rapidly with the whisk. Return the sauce to the heat and cook over low heat, stirring. Let the sauce bubble, stirring constantly, for about 3 seconds, no longer.

  9. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the sauce to a round-bottomed mixing bowl. Stir in the picked-over crab meat and let the sauce cool for about 10 minutes at room temperature.

  10. Beat the egg whites with a wire whisk, rotary beater, or electric mixer until they are quite stiff and stand in peaks. (It is all right to add the beaten egg whites to the sauce while the sauce is warm BUT NOT HOT.) Scoop half the beaten egg whites into the sauce and whisk them well into the sauce, using a rubber spatula or a wire whisk.

  11. Scoop the remaining whites into the sauce. Using a cutting-in motion with a rubber spatula, cut down to the bottom, scoop around the bottom and bring the spatula up. Do this several times. Do not overfold or the soufflé will not puff properly. Leave some white specks showing.

  12. Using the spatula, pour the mixture into the prepared soufflé dish. Place the soufflé in the oven and immediately turn the oven heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 80 to 40 minutes. Some people like a soufflé with a moist interior and for this the soufflé should be baked for the shorter period of time. For a soufflé with a firmer interior, use the longer cooking time.