Panko-Dusted Soft Shell Crabs with Spicy Mayonnaise Drizzle

TOTAL TIME: 36 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 16 min
YIELD: 4 appetizer servings or 2 main course servings
LEVEL: Intermediate


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Essence, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 4 large soft shell crabs, cleaned
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnishing
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In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, chili paste, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Set aside while you prepare the crabs.

Heat at least 4 inches of oil in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven or a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour and half of the Essence in a shallow bowl. Stir to blend well. In another shallow bowl whisk the eggs and milk together with the remaining Essence. Place the panko in a third shallow bowl.

Dredge each crab first in the flour, shaking to remove any excess, then in the egg wash, and finally in the panko. Set aside on a plate while you prepare the remaining crabs.

When the oil has reached the desired temperature, fry the crabs, 1 at a time, until golden brown and crispy on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels to drain while you fry the remaining crabs.

Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of the Spicy Mayonnaise around the perimeter of each of 4 dinner plates and top each plate with a crab. Garnish with the scallions and a little extra Essence around the edge of the plate. Serve immediately.

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