18 Jun2012

When a reader recently left a comment that they got some great soft-shell crabs from a supplier that I had featured a while back, I immediately gave the supplier a call and got 4 kilos of spectacular and nicely large (relatively speaking) frozen soft-shell crabs. I defrosted a dozen or so of the crabs, dried them and seasoned them with salt and pepper dipped them in a light tempura like batter, and deep fried them in lard.

It only took a few minutes to cook them and the outer crust or coating turned a very appetizing golden brown. They were crisp on the outside and soft and tasty on the inside. I made a quick dipping sauce of mayonnaise and some blood orange juice.

This was served over a salad of thinly sliced fennel, blood oranges and arugula and other greens. Garnished with fennel sprigs. A nice and easy dinner dish. Unusual but simple to prepare. Would love to do a version of deep-fried soft-shell crabs at the restaurants someday soon.



  1. wendy darling says:

    Oh yum, MM!

    I was gently challenged by my yoga teacher to go vegetarian about a year ago, but I still need my comfort food – so I hang out (lurk, stalk?) your blog to get my daily fix.

    Today’s post is a win-win: my sister gets the crabs (if I don’t sneak one myself), and I get the salad (and yes, I am still going to cook callos with my mom very very soon)

    Jun 18, 2012 | 9:44 pm


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  3. millet says:

    waiting till those babies are on tbe zubuchon menu!

    Jun 19, 2012 | 12:26 am

  4. scott says:

    Looks absolutely delicious…I would order that off a Zubuchon menu!!!

    Jun 19, 2012 | 5:17 am

  5. ami says:

    Curious to know, do they remove the gills before the crab gets frozen?

    Jun 19, 2012 | 8:37 am

  6. Marketman says:

    ami, yes, the crabs are “cleaned out” so you don’t have to do anything… just dip in batter and fry after they have defrosted. If you had to do the cleaning, it would be a hurdle to enjoyment… :)

    Jun 19, 2012 | 8:40 am

  7. PITS, MANILA says:

    hope the crabs are readily available in our area so we can try this recipe. thanks, MM!

    Jun 19, 2012 | 9:42 am

  8. ohinuj says:

    We had soft shell crabs, in lieu of regular crabs, as part of a lauriat dinner we had last Sunday. Although some of the guests were unsure about the new dish they all soon tucked in and said that the crabs were really good and easy to eat too since no peeling was required. It was done ion a traditional Chinese style – deep fried with lots of garlic and chili peppers.

    Jun 19, 2012 | 10:35 am

  9. blaise says:


    Jun 19, 2012 | 11:58 am

  10. MP says:

    MM, I think I’ll try soft shell crabs using Millet’s crabs with salted eggs recipe! I substituted the crabs with prawns and they were spectacular so I figured soft shell crabs will be as delicious! Oh Royal Quality Agro, here I come….

    Jun 19, 2012 | 9:15 pm

  11. Clarissa says:

    I can only manage to eat like half of a regular size crab before I get “suya”. But the pictures made me hungry!!! :)

    Jun 20, 2012 | 12:19 pm

  12. marissewalangkaparis says:

    I love soft shell crabs….yummmm….craving for some now.

    Jun 20, 2012 | 6:46 pm

  13. Weyn says:

    Hi MM, I’ve been a reader of your blog for quite some time (though not more than a year, I think), and I noticed you cook with lard often. I had always believed it’s just your way of getting better flavors out of your food. Anyway, I read your post about the bone marrow and that you eat it only twice a year :) and I thought, but you also make many dishes with lard, surely it can be unhealthy, too? Or am I being naive about lard (and missing out on something good!)?

    Jun 21, 2012 | 11:53 am

  14. Marketman says:

    Hi Weyn, I am a believer in the notion that good naturally home or small batch made lard is healthier than butter or hydrogenated vegetable oils, see this post here. While I eat fried food 2-3x a week out of say 21 potential meals, I do try to watch that as well. Generally, I look out for overdoing anything with high uric acid and very high cholesterol as my blood numbers in those areas need help. It may not be apparent in the posts, but I do eat a LOT of vegetables and salads as well. So I try to balance things out, and though still say 15-20 pounds higher than my personal ideal weight, I don’t think I am obese nor are my blood numbers horrific for my age… :)

    Jun 21, 2012 | 12:28 pm

  15. Wendy says:

    I love fresh food especially the crab …hmmmm yummmy

    Jun 21, 2012 | 8:57 pm

  16. ANgel says:

    yummo! MM, can you happen to share your supplier contact for the soft shell crabs? Thank you so much!

    Jun 22, 2012 | 5:59 am

  17. Marketman says:

    ANgel, the contact details are in the previous soft-shell crab post I linked to above in the main post…

    Jun 22, 2012 | 7:08 am

  18. juls says:

    hi MM…. you may want to try this sauce: simply mix Clause Tayags XO sauce with Kablon Farm’s Guava jelly and you have yourself a fantastic dipping chili sauce…

    Jun 22, 2012 | 2:02 pm

  19. Firechef says:

    Was wondering what kind of crab my gf catches at low tide on Mactan beaches, she has no idea what their name is, also the clams she digs. She says the crab are small, would those be softshell crab? Does anybody know? I’d appreciate a reply, thank you.
    Wondering in State of WA, USA

    Jul 1, 2012 | 9:28 am


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