Cornmeal-Crusted Soft-Shelled Crabs With Tartar Sauce

Cornmeal-Crusted Soft-Shelled Crabs With Tartar Sauce
Cornmeal-Crusted Soft-Shelled Crabs With Tartar Sauce

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

4

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

4

servings

Ingredients

  • 2

    cups well-shaken buttermilk

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1

    tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1

    teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

  • 8

    live soft-shelled crabs cleaned (preferably 4" to 5" wide)

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1

    cup self-rising cake flour see cook's note

  • 1

    cup yellow cornmeal

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • Cilantro-Lime Tartar Sauce (see recipe)

Directions

Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, salt, and pepper and pour into a 3-quart shallow dish. Add crabs and soak, covered and chilled, for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Heat enough vegetable oil to measure 1-inch deep in a wide shallow skillet to very hot. Whisk together flour and cornmeal and transfer to a large sealable plastic bag. Lift 1 crab out of buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and shake in bag to coat with flour. Knock off excess flour and transfer to a tray. Repeat with remaining crabs, arranging them in 1 layer as coated. Shallow-fry the crabs, 4 at a time, turning over halfway through frying (watch out for popping or use a frying screen), until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Reheat oil to very hot between batches. Drain crabs on paper towels and serve with Cilantro-Lime Tartar Sauce. This recipe yields 4 servings. Cooks' Note: If you can't find self-rising cake flour, you can use 1 cup all-purpose or cake flour mixed with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

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