Feast On Crab

000427 earlyshow bobby flay
On The Early Show, Chef Bobby Flay showed off a few of his favorite soft-shell crab dishes.

When buying soft-shell crabs, pick ones with a fresh, light scent of the sea, Flay says. The new, gray shells beginning to form should appear tender, not mushy. Fresh crabs should have all their limbs and be lively. Here are the recipes:

Sautéed Soft-Shell Crab With Lime Pan Sauce and Mango-Black Bean Relish
(Serves 4)

Ingredients for Mango-Black Bean Relish

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
1 cup black beans, cooked, or if using canned, rinsed well and drained
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper


Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for Crabs

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 softshell crabs, cleaned
Salt and ancho chile powder
2 shallots, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 stick very cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Season the crabs with salt and ancho powder to taste and sauté crabs until crisp and golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the crabs to a plate.

Add the shallots and jalapeno to the pan and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until completely evaporated. Add the lime juice, then slowly begin whisking in the cold butter until the sauce is emulsified. Fold in the parsley and pour over the soft-shell crabs. Top with the Mango-Black Bean Relish.

Tempura Soft-Shell Crab Sandwich With Toasted Paprika Aioli
(Serves 4)


1 cup prepared mayonnaise
6 cloves roasted garlic
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika, toasted
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup beer
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cups flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups peanut oil
4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
Watercress, washed
Sliced red onion
4 large crusty rolls


Place the mayonnaise, garlic, toasted paprika, cayenne and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.

Whisk together beer, egg, milk and flour until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat oil in a large skillet to a temperature of 360 degrees Fahrenheit. Season crabs with salt and pepper and dip into the batter. Fry crabs 1 to 2 at a time, depending on size, until golden brown, remove to a plate lined with paper towels.

Place a crab on each roll. Drizzle with Toasted Paprika Mayonnaise and top with a handful of watercress and sliced red onion. Serve with chips.

Blue Corn Crusted oft-Shell Crab Salad With Green Garlic Dressing
(Serves 4)

Ingredients for Green Garlic Dressing

2 green onions, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup parsley leaves
1/4 cup spinach leaves
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoons honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Ingredients for Blue Corn Crusted Soft-Shell Crabs

3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup blue cornmeal
3 large eggs plus 2 tablespoons cold water, lightly beaten
4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Mixed greens
Vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 red pepper, julienned
1 yellow pepper, julienned


Place the flour, cornmeal and eggs in separate bowls and season each with salt and pepper.

Dredge each crab in flour, shake off the excess, and dip into the eggs, covering completely. Dredge in cornmeal.

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crabs and sauté on both sides, until crisp, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Divide the greens, tomatoes and peppers among 4 large plates. Place a crab on top of the greens and drizzle the greens and crab with the Green Garlic Vinaigrette.