Cape Breton Snow Crab and Egg Salad on Brioche Toast

“I love combining eggs with crab in any way I can, and this tasty chilled hors d’oeuvre has a hint of Southern flavor to add a new dimension. The egg thickened sabayon sauce adds color and also shows yet another unique way to cook with eggs. All this texture and variety of flavor on top of crispy egg enriched brioche bread completes it all. It’s a new way of looking at your egg salad sandwich!”

Prep Time:
60 min
Cook Time:
15 min


Crab & Egg Salad

  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1 lb ( 0.5 kg ) Fresh snow crab meat
  • 1 Shallot, finely minced
  • 1 Stalk celery, finely minced
  • 2 tsp ( 10 mL ) Canned pimento, finely chopped
  • ½ cup ( 125 mL ) Mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp ( 5 mL ) Dijon mustard
  • ½ Lemon, juice and zest
  • Pinch Cayenne pepper
  • Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL ) Chives, chopped or Italian parsley
  • 1 Loaf brioche
  • 2-3 tbsp ( 30 mL ) Butter
  • 1 Ripe avocado, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro (garnish)

Red Pepper Sabayon

  • 1 Roasted red pepper, fresh or canned (equal to 2/3 to 3/4 cup when diced)
  • 2 tbsp ( 30 mL ) White wine
  • 1 tbsp ( 15 mL ) Quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp ( 10 mL ) Liquid honey
  • ½ tsp ( 2.5 mL ) Chili powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 Egg yolks


Crab and Egg Salad

  1. Bring the eggs to a boil and cook for 1 minute, then remove the eggs from the burner and let them sit for 10 minutes in the hot water. Pour out the hot water and then shake the pot with the eggs inside until the eggshells crack on all sides.
  2. Submerge the cooked eggs in an ice bath and let sit for 15 minutes. Peel the eggs under a gentle stream of tap water and finely chop them with a knife or a fork. Place them in a bowl.
  3. Pick over the crabmeat with your fingertips to remove any hidden shell pieces. Once cleaned, add the meat to the bowl with the eggs along with the shallot, celery, and pimento.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, Dijon, lemon juice and zest, cayenne, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs until a smooth dressing is formed. Crabmeat is often salty on its own, so be sparing on the salt at this point and adjust the seasonings at the end. Pour the dressing over the crabmeat and egg mixture and gently fold together using your fingertips or a rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble the hors d’oeuvres.
  5. Slice the brioche into 1 cm thick pieces about 2 ½ inches long. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and fry the brioche on both sides until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side.

Red Pepper Sabayon

  1. Place the roasted pepper (coarsely chopped) in a food processor or blender along with the white wine, vinegar, honey, chili powder, and salt. Blend until smooth and pass it through a fine meshed sieve into a medium sized mixing bowl to ensure there are no lumps.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a simmer on the stove, first ensuring the bowl you chose for the red pepper puree sits on top of the rim. Add the egg yolks to the puree and whisk well. Stir continuously over the simmering water until the sauce thickens. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes. The sauce will leave a ribbon as it falls from the whisk when it is ready to serve.


  1. Spread the crab and egg salad liberally onto each piece of brioche. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and cut into thin strips, then cut those strips in half. Fan two or three thin slices of avocado on top of each canapé.
  2. Spoon a small amount of sabayon on top and then finish each with a fresh sprig of cilantro. Serve these as a starter for a meal or as a plated hors d’oeuvre with a fork.


Note: Brioche loaves come in many shapes and sizes, so some judgment will be needed here as to the size of each piece. Smaller “baguette-like” loaves can simply be sliced into pieces about 2 ½ inches long, but larger loaves may need to be cut down or even portioned using a cookie cutter. This is a great hors d’oeuvre, but larger portions can be served as an open-faced sandwich for lunches or brunch occasions.