Crab: Softshell Crab Tempura

posted by scooby 07-26-100 10:42 AM

Softshell Crab Tempura

4 Jumbo soft-shell crabs
1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
leaves of 4 or 5 sprigs cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 medium limes

Tempura Batter:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsps. sesame seeds
1 to 1 1/2 tsps. cayenne pepper
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped fine
peanut oil for frying

Prepare the crab, some seafood shops sell them ready for cooking.. Sprinkle with the minced jalapeno and the chopped cilantro. Pour the lime juice over and let marinate for at least 30 minutes, refrigerated. When ready to cook season lightly with salt.

Prepare the batter: In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. Whisk in the water until the batter is smooth, then add the remaining ingredients, seasoning with cayenne and salt to taste. If made earlier in the day, set the bowl into an ice bath.

At serving time, in a deep, heavy saucepan, wok, or deep-fat fryer, heat 3 inches of oil to 350 degrees

Dip each crab into the batter and coat well. Carefully place one or two in the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or a flat strainer and drain on paper or clean toweling. Keep warm while preparing the remaining crab.

Serve with a green salad and oil-and-vinegar dressing. Serves 4.

To prepare ahead: Marinate the crabs, have the batter ready. Heat the oil at serving time and continue with the recipe.

Note: Shrimp can be substituted for the crab. If using shrimp, peel, leaving the tail intact.

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