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.

  • Prep Time: 30m
  • Cook Time: 10m
  • Total Time: 2h 30m


  • For Soft Shell Crab
  • 12 Soft shell Crabs, medium, thawed
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 cup Cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 3 cups Cold Soda Water
  • 2 tablespoons Gojuchang (Korean chili paste)
  • 2 tablespoons Soju (or Sake)
  • For the Slaw
  • 1/2 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Gojuchang (Korean Chili Paste)
  • 2 teaspoons Ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 Small Head Napa or savoy Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 Carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 Watermelon Radishes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 Scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Seedless Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 Jalapeno, thinly sliced in rounds


  1. For the Soft Shells
  2. Heat oil to 375⁰ in a deep fryer. In a bowl combine flour, cornstarch & baking powder in a large bowl, Add the Soju, stirring in the soda water until a thick pancake batter consistency is reached, add the chili paste and stir to combine. Dip the crabs in the batter, being careful not to lose the claws. 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.
  3. For the Slaw
  4. Combine seven ingredients to make the dressing. Add the other ingredients to a large bowl and pour over the dressing and toss to evenly coat. Pack tightly in a container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, better overnight.

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