Soft Shell Crab with Tempura Batter and Dipping Sauces

  • corn or peanut oil, for frying
  • soft-shell crabs
  • Tempura Batter:
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup seltzer water, ice cold
  • Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Balamic Syrup:
  • 2 1/2 cups Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup Port wine
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Red Pepper Syrup:
  • 3 cups red pepper juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup Port wine
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon arrowroot
  • Wasabi Cream:
  • 1/4 cup Wasabi powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt, to taste
Wasabi Cream:
  • For Tempura Batter: Whisk together ingredients. Can be used for up to 1 hour. Keep cold!

  • For Crabs: Heat 1/4-inch of corn or peanut oil in a heavy skillet until very hot but not smoking. Fry the crabs in batches for about 2 minutes on the first side, then turn and fry for another minute. The crust should be golden. Be prepared the crabs will split when you fry them; a splatter screen will come in handy.

  • Drain on paper towels and serve with dipping sauces.

For Balsamic Syrup:
  • Put all ingredients together and reduce over medium heat, down to 1/4 of its liquid. Strain and discard onion.

For Red Pepper Syrup:
  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Reduce down to 3/4 of a cup. Thicken with the arrowroot.

For Wasabi Cream:
  • Dissolve Wasabi in water. Whisk in creme fraiche and lemon juice. Season with salt.

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