- 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
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.
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.
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.