Tempura Soft-shell Crab with Asian Slaw

Tempura Soft-shell Crab with Asian Slaw Recipe
Jean Allsopp

Make the tempura batter just before dipping the crabs. The bubbles in the soda water help keep the tempura light and crispy.


Makes 4 servings

Recipe from

Coastal Living


Canola or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cake flour or all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups soda water
8 jumbo soft-shell crabs, dressed
Garnish: toasted sesame seeds


Pour oil to a depth of 1 inch into a large Dutch oven, and heat to 350°.

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir yolk into soda water in a 2-cup measure until blended; pour over flour mixture, and, using a large fork, gently combine (the batter should remain slightly lumpy and should have the consistency of heavy cream).

Dip 2 crabs into batter, letting excess batter drip back into bowl, and carefully slip into the hot oil, top-side down. Fry 1 1/2 minutes per side, until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels, then transfer to a baking sheet, and keep warm in a 200° oven. Repeat with remaining oil and crabs.

Cut crabs in half. Serve with Asian Slaw and Crab Dipping Sauce. Garnish, if desired.

Wine note: "A crisp bubbly is traditionally a beautiful bedfellow for preparations involving frying, seafood, or soy sauce. This dish manages to combine all three, making a bubbly such as Zardetto Prosecco ($10) a no-brainer. The prosecco's clean, tart flavor whisks away the tempura's greasy baggage like a bellhop at the Four Seasons." --Mark Oldman

Frank P. Melodia,

Coastal Living

April 2005
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