Lunchbreak: Soft shell crab po’ boys with spicy slaw, prepared by Dirk’s Fish

Dirk & Terry Fucik

Dirk’s Fish
2070 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago
www.dirksfish.com

Soft Shell Crab Po' Boys with Spicy Slaw

Ingredients
soft shell crabs, prime size, at least 2 per person
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper and/or Cajun seasoning
1 cup flour
2 to 4 eggs, depending on number of crabs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
canola oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan
crusty loaf of french style bread or lobster roll buns, lightly toasted

Directions:
I like to put a handful of flour in a plastic bag with a teaspoon of each of pepper, salt, (Cajun season or blackening spice if you like). Another handful of panko crumbs in a separate bag. Eggs in a bowl, well beaten. Drop each crab in flour bag separately and shake it up, coating the crab well. Dredge the floured crab in the egg, just to get it wet. Drop the wet crab into the panko crumbs and coat well. Remove from bag and let set for 5 minutes. Repeat the process until all the crabs are coated. Get a pan hot then add canola oil, just a couple of Tablespoons. Gently place each crab in the pan but don't crowd or stack them. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain (try not to eat the claws before you actually serve them). I like an avocado mashed with a drop or two of lemon juice. Dip your crab leg by leg and claw by claw. It complements the crispy crab so well.
To assemble sandwich:
Brush sauce on both sides of bread or warm toasted buns, place cooked crabs inside and top with spicy slaw.

Remoulade Sauce

Ingredients:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons shallots, chopped
2 Tablespoons capers
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons louisiana hot sauce
2 teaspoons lime zest
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:
Add all ingredients in food processor, pulse until combined. Set aside.

Spicy Slaw

Base

Ingredients:
8 cups savoy cabbage, shredded
2 1/2 cups red pepper, julienne
2 cups carrots, shredded
1 1/2 cups red onion, diced

Dressing

Ingredients:
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup roasted red pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon sriracha
3 teaspoons Kosher salt

Directions:
Combine slaw base in a large bowl. Put all dressing ingredients, except olive oil, into food processor or blender and combine well. Slowly drizzle olive oil through top of machine while blending. Pour over slaw base and toss  well. Makes enough for a generous 6 to 8 sandwiches.

Dirk's Tips

Pan sauteed is the best way to cook soft shells. You can just do flour, pepper and salt or try an extra coating of crispy panko crumbs. My favorite is panko crumbed, fried, dredged in smashed avocado with a drop or two of spicy mayo. One of our good customers just brushes hers with dijon mustad and sautes them. If you like sushi, there's also nothing like a fresh soft shell crab spider roll! Grilling also works well. you don't need to bread them just brush them with a little olive oil and lemon zest.

I like to saute crabs in canola oil or some other high smoke point oil, avocado, peanut or walnut work well too. Olive oil and butter both burn to easily and don't give you that crispy crunch. If you do want to use butter and/or olive oil it does work, but just be careful not to burn it.