Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches with Singapore Slaw

Total Time:
35 min
25 min
10 min

4 servings

  • For the slaw:
  • 1/2 large daikon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the aioli:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (preferably Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise)
  • 1/4 cup sambal oelek (Asian chile sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • For the soft-shell crab
  • 4 live soft-shell crabs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 Hawaiian sweet rolls, split open
  • Make the slaw: Trim and peel the daikon, then shred on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to a colander and squeeze dry. Whisk the lime juice and honey in a medium bowl. Add the cilantro and daikon; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Refrigerate the slaw until ready to serve.

  • Make the aioli: Combine the mayonnaise, sambal oelek and tomato paste in a small bowl. Grate in the garlic, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

  • Clean the crabs (if live): Cut off the front of each crab just behind the eyes and mouth using kitchen shears; remove any yellow matter from the inside with your fingers, if desired.

  • Grab one of the pointy ends of the top shell and peel it back to reveal the gills; cut out the gills and discard. Repeat on the other side.

  • Flip the crab over and pull back the small flap known as the apron. Use your fingers to pull it off.

  • Cook the crabs: Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the crabs in the seasoned flour, turning to coat both sides; shake off the excess flour and set aside. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and swirl the pan until the foaming stops. Add the crabs to the pan and cook until they start to turn an orange-red color, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and season immediately with salt.

  • Build your sandwich: Set your rolls cut-side down in the same pan and cook until golden. Slather the roll tops with some of the chile aioli. Sandwich a hot crab and a scoop of slaw on each roll.

  • Photograph by David Malosh

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