Emeril's Fried Seafood Platter

Total Time:
1 hr 35 min
30 min
45 min
20 min

8 servings

  • Fried Shrimp:
  • 2 dozen medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tips of the tails left intact
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Essence, plus more for dusting, recipe follows
  • 1 cup masa harina
  • Lemon wedges, accompaniment
  • Fried Soft Shell Crabs:
  • 4 large soft-shell crabs, cleaned, rinsed gently in cool water, and patted dry
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dried fine bread crumbs
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons Essence, plus more for dusting, recipe follows
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Chopped parsley, garnish
  • Lemon wedges, accompaniment
  • 8 pieces toasted and lightly buttered white bread, sliced in half diagonally
  • Cocktail Sauce, recipe follows
  • Kicked Up Tartar Sauce, recipe follows
  • French fried potatoes
  • Dill Pickle Slices
  • Cocktail Sauce:
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Kicked Up Tartar Sauce:
  • 1 large egg*
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Hot sauce
Fried Soft Shell Crabs:
  • Fried Shrimp: Place the shrimp in a bowl with the hot sauce and toss to coat. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat a large pot with vegetable oil to come 4 inches up the sides to 375 degrees F.

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, masa, and Essence, and toss to coat. Add the shrimp in batches, turning to coat evenly, and shaking to remove any excess. Fry in batches in the oil, turning to cook evenly. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels and season, to taste, with Essence.

  • Fried Softshell crabs: Place the crabs in a bowl with the hot sauce and toss to coat. Marinate for 30 minutes. Combine the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, combine the bread crumbs with the remaining 3 teaspoons of Essence. In a third bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk to make an egg wash.

  • Preheat a large pot with vegetable oil to come 4 inches up the sides to 375 degrees F.

  • Remove the crabs from the hot sauce and dredge in batches first in the flour, then the egg wash, letting any excess drip off. Dredge the coated crabs in the bread crumbs, turning to coat evenly on both sides. Hold the body of the crab with the claws and legs hanging down over the hot oil and carefully drop it in. Fry until golden brown, turning with tongs to brown evenly, 3 to 4 minutes per side, depending upon the size. (The crabs will float to the surface of the oil when they are cooked.) Remove and drain on paper towels and season lightly with Essence.

  • To serve, arrange 2 slices of buttered toast across each of 4 plates. Top with the fried shrimp and soft-shell crabs, and place a large dollop of cocktail sauce and tartar sauce to the sides. Arrange French fried potatoes, dill pickle slices, and lemon wedges to the sides and serve immediately, garnished with parsley.

Cocktail Sauce:
  • In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir to blend well. It will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week. Yield: 1 cup

Kicked Up Tartar Sauce:
  • Put the egg, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, parley, and onion in a blender or food processor and process until smooth, about 15 seconds. With the processor running, pour the oil through the feed tube in a steady stream. Add the Worcestershire, season with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, and pulse to blend. Cover and let sit for 1 hour in the refrigerator before serving. Use within 24 hours.


  • Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

  • Yield: about 1 1/3 cups

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