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'Tis the Season for Eating a Ton of Soft-Shell Crab

Chris Wegan, photo by Alex Lau
'Tis the Season for Eating a Ton of Soft-Shell Crab
FRIED SOFT-SHELL CRAB SANDWICH 
Cleaning soft-shell crabs is a breeze, but you can always have your fishmonger do it for you. Just be sure to eat them the day they are cleaned.


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Ingredients: 
Sauce
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Old Bay seasoning

Slaw

  • 1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 Fresno chile, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

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Crab and assembly

  • Vegetable oil (for frying; about 2 cups)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten to blend
  •  cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned
  • 4 soft buns, warmed
Preparation: 
Sauce: Whisk mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and Old Bay seasoning in small bowl.
Slaw: Whisk vinegar and mustard in medium bowl. Add cabbage and chile and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper.
Crab: Pour oil into a large skillet, preferably cast iron, to a depth of 1/2” and heat over medium-high heat until oil bubbles immediately when a pinch of flour is added.


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Meanwhile, Whisk flour, cayenne, and 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning in a shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper. Place eggs into another shallow bowl. Whisk panko and remaining 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning in a third shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper.
Dredge crabs in flour mixture, shaking off excess, then dip in egg, letting excess drip back into bowl. Coat in panko mixture.
Working in 2 batches, place crabs, shell side down, in skillet and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season with salt.
Build sandwiches with buns, sauce, crabs, and slaw.