Soft-shell crabs with green tomato vinaigrette

Soft-shell crabs with green tomato vinaigrette

By
From
Deep South
Serves
4
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Soft-shell crabs are downright addictive – so much so that it is nearly impossible for me to resist them on a menu. The textural crunch of the shell combines with the crab flavour-bomb, hitting all the high notes. I like a light batter for frying, so as not to overpower the crab. Use a light egg wash, my fried chicken dredge and clean oil for the best results.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 eggs
100ml water
300g Southern fried chicken with green tomato gravy, Chicken Dredge
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
8 jumbo soft-shell crabs, cleaned, and lungs and reproductive organs removed
sea salt

For the green tomato vinaigrette:

Quantity Ingredient
1kg green tomatoes
200g thyme leaves
40g flat-leaf parsley
vegetable oil

Method

  1. First prepare the vinaigrette. Place the whole tomatoes stem-side down on a baking tray. Place the tray under a grill heated to maximum and leave until the skin of the tomatoes is fully blackened. Remove from the grill and leave to cool. Halve the tomatoes, place in a blender and blitz until smooth. Line a sieve with muslin and place it over a large bowl. Pour the puréed tomato into the lined sieve and allow the liquid to drip through into the bowl beneath. Don’t force it through or squeeze it, as this will make the juice cloudy. Leave it in the fridge to drip through overnight.
  2. Blanch the thyme leaves in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in cold water. Blanch the parsley for 30 seconds, then drain and refresh. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the herbs. Weigh them and measure out twice their weight in vegetable oil. Place the herbs and oil in a blender and whiz for 6–8 minutes, until the mixture has warmed up. Leave to infuse for 24 hours, then strain.
  3. Weigh the tomato liquid. Mix 2 parts tomato liquid to 1 part thyme oil. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs with the water to make an egg wash. Spread the chicken dredge out in a large, shallow dish. Heat some vegetable oil in a deepfat fryer to 175°C. Coat the crabs lightly, one by one, in the egg wash and then toss in the chicken dredge until evenly coated. Drop straight into the hot oil and cook until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and season lightly with salt, then serve with the vinaigrette.
Tags:
American
Southern cooking
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