Fried soft shell crab

By Michael Bonacini
  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Print


  • 4 soft-shell crabs (the smaller the better), cleaned and prepared
  • 4 eggs, whisked, plus more if required
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) salt, plus more for serving
  • 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) pepper
  • Oil for frying (grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable)
  • Arugula, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

Sundried tomato aioli:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 6 sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil, removed from oil and patted dry
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 milliliters) smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 milliliter) salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (360 milliliters) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) lemon juice


  1. Add soft-shell crab to a shallow dish. Pour whisked eggs over crab, agitating dish to ensure crabs are coated evenly. Add more egg, if required, to ensure crabs are just covered. Let sit for ten minutes. 

For the aioli:

  1. Combine egg yolks, Dijon, garlic, sundried tomatoes, paprika, and salt in a blender or food processor. Blitz until smooth. If your food processor has an opening where you can pour the olive oil in while the lid is still on, slowly pour in oil while the processor is running, then add the lemon juice and blitz one more time. If your blender or processor does not have such an opening, transfer mixture to a large bowl, then drizzle in olive oil slowly as you whisk. Add lemon juice and whisk again to combine well.
  2. In a shallow dish, combine flour with paprika, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper Add olive oil to a heavy-bottomed saucepan or frying pan with high sides until it reaches 3.75 centimeters high. Heat oil until it reaches 325 F (160 C). Dredge the crab lightly in the flour mixture, then fry crab in batches, removing when golden and crispy. Transfer crab to a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Serve on a bed of arugula with lemon wedges and a bowl of the aioli.

Buon appetito!


Bonacini's Italy

FOLLOW Michael Bonacini

Bell Media Lifestyle Specialty Terms of Use Privacy Policy