Crispy “Buffalo” Soft Shell Crabs with Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce

Over the years in the restaurant business I learned that the words “crispy” or “crunchy” before a menu item leads to sales. The classic Buffalo chicken wing paired with a creamy blue cheese or ranch dipping sauce was the inspiration for this dish. One of the unique selling points is that it is a gluten free item, using a rice flour tempura batter to create a super crispy crust. A creamy yet spicy Buffalo Ranch dipping sauce makes it familiar yet exciting. I also must say the presentation of the halved crabs standing up on the plate is quite dramatic!

Maryland Style Crab Soup with Crispy Soft Shell Crab

How do you make a bowl of soup as exciting to look at as it is delicious to eat? You add an incredible garnish! I took a classic Maryland crab soup, loaded with fresh crab meat, vegetables and Old Bay seasoning and topped it with a crispy soft shell crab. The crunchy crab with the slightly spicy tomato broth is a perfect combination.

Soft Shell Crab Po’ Boy

Sandwiches are one of the most popular applications for crispy fried soft shell crabs. Having gone to college in New Orleans, my favorite is a classic Soft Shell Po’ Boy. A buttermilk batter provides a great texture and the cornmeal with Creole seasoning gives a true Southern flavor. I like mine “fully dressed” and with a heavy dose of Creole Remoulade sauce to add a creamy, slightly spicy, component to the dish.

Korean Style Fried Soft Shell Crabs with “Kimchi” Slaw

With Korean fried chicken being one of the top trend items, I thought it would be great to combine those flavors and textures with our small soft shell crabs (mediums) to create a “wow factor” shareable appetizer. A crispy tempura batter made spicy an deep with flavor from fermented Korean chili paste, Gojuchang, and extra crispy with the help of Soju, a Korean liquor. The crabs are served with a quick pickled slaw with the flavors of classic kimchi. You can also serve a dipping sauce along side the crabs, such as Mae Ploy, Thai sweet chili sauce.

Craig’s Killer Crab Salad

This is the one you have loved at the shows! Craig’s Killer Crab Salad!  If you heard me telling the story, this crab salad was a “Chef” mistake that turned out to be what is now a ten plus year favorite!

Please note this recipe is made in bulk for a large party or event or as an item for a foodservice establishment. It can be reduced easily by reducing all ingredients by 2/3rds and only using one pound of crab. Enjoy.