Chefs at Home: Parisian-Style Soft Shell Crabs
The crabs from Wulf's are already cleaned for you when they arrive. I dried them off with some paper towels when I removed them from the packaging. Soft-shell crabs this size cook quickly, so be sure to have all the ingredients and accompaniments ready before cooking, and serve them right away.
RECIPE AND PHOTOS BY CHEF ANDREW HEBERT OF THE SALTY PIG.
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For the salad:
- 10 cornichons, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 5 small red radishes, cut into wedges
- 1 small shallot, sliced
- 1/4 cup picked parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
For the crabs
- 1 package (2 each) soft shell crabs (they come cleaned)
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable cooking oil
- 1 cup cornmeal, fine or medium grind
- Sea salt, to taste
- 1 lemon
Mix all the ingredients, except for the mustard, in a small mixing bowl. Set aside while you cook the crabs.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat each crab in the cornmeal and drop them into the hot oil. Cook one side for about 3 minutes, then flip over and cook the other side for about 3 minutes. The crabs should be lightly golden brown, a little crispy, and hot all the way through.
Remove the crabs from the oil and place on paper towels to catch any excess oil before transferring to a plate or serving platter.
Season the cooked crabs with a little sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Arrange on a plate with the salad served under and on top of the crabs. Serve immediately, with the mustard on the side.