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Crispy Soft-Shell Crabs with Bangalore-Style Dipping Sauce

Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures

Several years ago, I worked for a soft-shell crab company out of Maryland and spent four years studying, eating and cooking the shellfish. I traveled the world testing recipes and visiting soft-crab fisheries and I came to consider myself something of an expert. One year, at the Boston Seafood Show, the owner of the company introduced me to a gentleman who owned the largest crab processing facility in India. He loved my recipes, which I was serving at the booth, but he told me the next day he would make me a sauce for fried crab that would knock my socks off. He did, and I have been making that sauce ever since. Thanks, Vikram! Indian seafood recipes are not as popular as other dishes from that amazing culinary culture--but they should be. Check out this recipe and you will be sold. It's a great break from the soft-crab po'boys and meuniere-style preparations that we are all a little tired of. At least I am.--Andrew Zimmern

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons beef stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 to 3 serrano chiles, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 8 jumbo soft-shell crabs, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


  1. In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the beef stock, lime juice, sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Add the shallot, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Stir in the cilantro and chiles.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy. Add the crabs and turn to coat. In another bowl, whisk the flour with the cornstarch, white pepper, salt and cayenne.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat 2 inches of oil until 375°. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet. Dredge 2 or 3 of the crabs at a time in the flour mixture and add them to the hot oil. Fry over high heat, turning once, until golden brown and crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the crabs to the rack. Transfer the crabs to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.
Contributed By Photo © Stephanie Meyer Published December 2010

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