Clean Slate’s Amazing Soft Shell Crab Tacos Recipe with Roasted Vegetables, Tomato Rice, and “Tomatillo Sauce”.
Soft Shell Crab Tacos Recipe:
- Soft Shell Crabs
- Roasted Bell Pepper
- Fresh Basil
- Clean Slate Tex-Mex Seasoning Blend
- All Purpose Flour
- Clean the crabs and remove all inedible parts – You must remove the gills, tail section and face of the crab. If frozen, thaw the crab inside a sealed plastic bag placed in a bowl of water. Once soft, gently lift the left pointed side of the crabs top shell. Underneath are gills, which can be removed by simply pulling them off. Repeat this step on the right pointed side. Turn the crab on its back, belly up. Remove the eyes, face, and mouth using shears with one lateral cut. Now remove the apron or tail of the crab, simply by pulling it back and twisting it off. The rest of the crab is entirely edible but I like to make one more cut along the abdominal seam of the crab bisecting the two sections of the legs. Here is a link with pictures to help describe it a little more about How to Clean Soft-Shell Crabs.
- Heat enough oil in a sauce pan to cover the crabs completely. Place some all purpose flour in a small bowl. Dredge and entirely coast the moist crabs.
- Once the oil is hot, gently lower the crabs into the oil using a slotted spoon.
- It doesn’t take long for the crabs to reach a golden brown. At this point, remove delicately with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel covered plate to drain.
- Immediately sprinkle the hot crabs with Clean Slate Tex-Mex Seasoning or Clean Slate Cajun Seasoning.
- Heat butter in a skillet and brown your tortillas. You will need to mold them while they are still warm if you want them in the traditional shape.
- Layer the fresh basil and thinly sliced radish on top of roasted bell peppers and a thick smear of roasted green tomato and cilantro sauce. (Recipes for the roasted veggies and the green tomato sauce are below.)
- Toss some tomato rice on the side along with some roasted corn, red onions, and roasted garlic. (Recipe below)
Now for the side dishes–
The majority of these veggies are roasted, and to do that we need a casserole dish, salt, olive oil, and a 400 degree fahrenheit oven.
Grease the dish with olive oil and arrange all the vegetable inside. Drizzle the veggies with more oil and a heavy sprinkling of salt. Make sure everything is well coated and place the dish into the hot oven.
I decided since I was roasting tomatoes along with limes, garlic, and chillies for my “tomatillo” sauce that I wanted to add a vegetable or two to the roasting pan to serve as side dishes. This would also help to dress up my tacos fajita style. So red bell pepper, corn on the cob and red onion got thrown into the mix.
What Tex-Mex dish is complete without rice? I wanted something with a little color and a lot of savory notes that would not clash with the cilantro component of my green sauce.
Tomato and Parsley Rice Recipe:
- Red Tomatoes
- Fresh Parsley
- Olive Oil
- Prepared White Rice
- Dice ripe red tomatoes into very small pieces.
- Heat an ounce of olive oil in a sauce pan until hot.
- Place the tomatoes in the hot oil and toss.
- Season with a dash of salt, fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of lime.
- Add a few tablespoons of water if it gets too thick.
- Once the tomatoes break down and a sauce has formed add a handful of finely chopped parsley and stir into the sauce.
- Fold in the prepared rice and serve.
In the Philippines sometimes you have to make do with the ingredients available. No complaints on the beautiful selections here, just some things do not exist on the islands. When you want to make a classic roasted tomatillo sauce..well I guess you have to innovate. I chose firm green tomatoes as my replacement for tomatillos and it came out spectacular.
Green tomato based “tomatillo sauce” recipe:
- Roasted Green Tomatoes
- Roasted Garlic
- A large bunch of Fresh Cilantro
- Blend everything in a food processor or blender until smooth
The inspiration for this dish came from a great spot in Houston, Texas called Picos. They are famous for their fresh squeezed margaritas, their live music, and delicious salsa. My favorite of all is their soft shell crab tacos.
Man this was a fantastic meal! I really love soft shell crab because it is so versatile and tasty. I love all crab of course, but not having to shell them for an hour to get just a few bites of succulent meat is really a cheat. I think I could eat a half dozen. If you like Clean Slate let me know with a comment or even better a suggestion. I love hearing from my readers and really enjoy creating the dishes you recommend.