Soft-shell crab sandwiches with chili-ponzu slaw

File soft-shell crab under the “sounds intimidating but was actually pretty easy” category. I could have gone for some fancy-pants presentation here but I really wanted the satisfaction of just biting straight into the thing — not to mention these sandwiches look pretty epic once they’re all assembled. If soft-shell crab is out of your reach, I really can’t think of any shellfish that wouldn’t be delicious in this preparation.

And please please, if you don’t make the slaw with the crabs here, come back to it at some point. I beg of you. It’s one of the tastiest things I’ve made recently and it only gets better as it sits in your fridge.

ponzu slaw



Soft-shell crab sandwiches with chili-ponzu slaw


  • 4 fresh soft-shell crabs
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3 teaspoons Old Bay
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • Pinch of salt, pepper
  • 2 avocados (optional)
  • French baguette
  • Peanut or vegetable oil
  • For the slaw
  • ¼ purple cabbage head, sliced
  • 4 grated carrots
  • 1 julienned green apple
  • ½ sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pozu sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sugar
  • Sprinkle of salt


  1. Mix slaw ingredients in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and sugar (please don't skip the sugar!). Pour vinegar and ponzu sauce over vegetables, cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in fridge to allow flavors to develop.
  2. Clean your crabs. If you actually read the text above that no one reads, your fishmonger should have already cleaned them, but clean them again. Squeeze all of the funky guts stuff out and try not to be dismayed.
  3. Dry your crabs. I can't stress this step enough. DRY THEM SO WELL.
  4. Combine flour, Old Bay, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Dredge your crabs. Dredge them good. Make sure your mixture gets into every crevice possible because that is directly tied to crispiness, and thus, deliciousness.
  6. In a large and deep pan (I used a cast iron) heat your oil over high heat until a sprinkle of flour immediately sizzles and turns color.
  7. Place crabs into the oil (careful!) and cook through until golden and beautiful, only about 3 minutes per side.
  8. Allow crabs to cool. Assemble sandwich with fresh baguette, avocado slices, crab and slaw.

Originally posted November 11th, 2016

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