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!

  • Prep Time:25m
  • Cook Time:10m
  • Total Time:35m


  • For the Soft Shell Crabs
  • 6 Soft shell Crab, Prime or larger, thawed
  • 2 cups Rice Flour
  • 1 liter Cold Soda Water
  • 1/2 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons Sake
  • For The Spicy Ranch Dipping Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar


  1. Heat oil to 375⁰ in a deep fryer. Combine all ingredients for the sauce and whisk until a smooth consistency, refrigerate until needed.. In a shallow dish combine the Buffalo sauce and buttermilk, add the soft shell crabs and cover with the sauce. Allow to marinate for 20 minutes. Add the rice flour to a large bowl, whisk in the Sake and then the soda water until a thick pancake batter consistency. Remove the crabs from the marinade and allow to drain well. Dip the crabs into the batter and completely cover. Allow the excess batter to drip off. Place crabs, a few at a time, in the fryer and cook for about 5 minutes, turning once, until crispy and golden brown. With a serrated knife, cut the crabs in half, pour sauce down center of a platter and stand the crabs along the sauce.

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