Why It Works
- A light beer batter provides just enough of a crispy shell, without weighing the crab down.
- A simple sandwich, with tender toasted bread, lettuce, tomato, and a basic condiment, adds all the flavor and texture you need, but doesn't compete with the crab unnecessarily.
Fried soft-shell crabs are a seasonal treat, and there's hardly a better way to enjoy them than on a sandwich with tender toasted bread, lettuce, and tomato, plus your choice of mayo, tartar sauce, or remoulade. Battered in a light and crispy shell, the crabs are the rightful stars of the sandwich.
Peanut, vegetable, or canola oil, for frying
1 cup all-purpose flour (4 1/2 ounces; 130g), divided
1/4 cup cornstarch (1 ounce; 30g)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Large pinch paprika
4 large soft-shell crabs, preferably jumbo or “whale” size, cleaned
6 ounces (175ml) light beer
4 toasted soft burger buns
Mayonnaise, tartar sauce, or remoulade, for serving
Shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce, for serving
Thinly sliced tomato, for serving
In a large cast iron or stainless steel skillet, preheat about 1/2 inch oil to 350°F (177°C). In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup (65g) flour with cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, baking powder, and paprika and whisk to combine. Place remaining 1/2 cup flour in a shallow bowl.
Add crabs to plain flour and toss gently to coat. Add beer to flour/cornstarch mixture and whisk until a batter has just formed; it's okay if a few small lumps of dry flour remain.
Working with one at a time, lift a crab from flour and shake off excess. Dip in batter, turning to coat, then lift, allowing excess batter to drain back into bowl. Carefully lower crab into hot oil. Repeat with remaining crabs.
Cook, turning at least once, until batter is golden and crispy on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Using a slotted fish spatula, transfer crabs to paper towels to drain and sprinkle immediately with salt.
Smear top and bottom of each bun with mayo, tartar sauce, or remoulade. Add shredded lettuce to each bottom bun, followed by a slice or two of tomato. Top each with a fried crab and close sandwiches. Serve right away.
Instant-read thermometer, slotted fish spatula
This Recipe Appears In
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 25g||32%|
|Saturated Fat 2g||11%|
|Total Carbohydrate 42g||15%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 5g|
|Vitamin C 11mg||54%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|