You have to try Soft Shell Crab Tacos


Clean Slate’s Amazing Soft Shell Crab Tacos Recipe with Roasted Vegetables, Tomato Rice, and “Tomatillo Sauce”.

Soft Shell Crab Tacos
Soft Shell Crab Tacos with Roasted Vegetables, Tomato Rice, and “Tomatillo Sauce”

Soft Shell Crab Tacos Recipe:

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the oil is hot, gently lower the crabs into the oil using a slotted spoon.
  4. 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.
  5. Immediately sprinkle the hot crabs with Clean Slate Tex-Mex Seasoning or Clean Slate Cajun Seasoning.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
  8. Toss some tomato rice on the side along with some roasted corn, red onions, and roasted garlic. (Recipe below)
  9. Feast.
rawsoftshell
I always thought soft shell crabs were a particular species of crab. It turns out they are the regions typical edible crabs that have recently shed their shell.
friedsoftshells
Sometimes the more simple the better. No complicated batter was used, just flour. Season when they came out hot from the fryer. I used Clean Slate Tex-Mex blend.

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.

rawroastingtray
My roasting tray of vegetables about to go into the oven. That is the root of my cilantro on top, you may know it better as “coriander”.

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 rice, delicious and quick especially if you have some leftover prepared rice.
Tomato rice, delicious and quick. Especially if you have some left over prepared rice.

Tomato and Parsley Rice Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Red Tomatoes
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • Prepared White Rice

Directions:

  1. Dice ripe red tomatoes into very small pieces.
  2. Heat an ounce of olive oil in a sauce pan until hot.
  3. Place the tomatoes in the hot oil and toss.
  4. Season with a dash of salt, fresh ground pepper, and a squeeze of lime.
  5. Add a few tablespoons of water if it gets too thick.
  6. Once the tomatoes break down and a sauce has formed add a handful of finely chopped parsley and stir into the sauce.
  7. Fold in the prepared rice and serve.
This rice recipe really is a simple way to turn up your boring leftover white rice.
This rice recipe really is a simple way to turn up your boring leftover white rice.

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.

greentomatoes cornacopia
Fragrant green tomatoes, red onion, garlic, chilli, limes, and fresh cilantro. After roasting these would become my ‘tomatillo’ sauce.
grilledveggies
The roasted tomatoes, roasted limes, a few chillies, some garlic, fresh cilantro and roasted cilantro root all went into a blender for my “tomatillo” salsa.
grilledtomatoandgarlic
Improvised tomatillo. Make sure to get a good char on your vegetables for the classic Tex-Mex flavor.

 

Green tomato based “tomatillo sauce” recipe:

Ingredients:

  • Roasted Green Tomatoes
  • Roasted Garlic
  • A large bunch of Fresh Cilantro
  • Chillies
  • Limes

Directions:

  1. Blend everything in a food processor or blender until smooth

 

crabplate4
The ‘green stuff’ is the roasted tomato sauce. Looks weird, tastes fantastic.
crabplate3
I really was impressed by how simple flour alone on the moist crabs made such a perfect batter.
platedcrabs2
The bright notes of fresh sweet basil and the cool pepperiness of radish slices paired really well with the acidic and smokey roasted tomato sauce.
platedcrabsangle
Nothing on this plate survived.
knifechili
I like a little heat with my food, so I added some additional chillies.
pepperkiwicornacopia
I had originally planned for the green and gold kiwis to be a part of the meal. They made a great snack instead 🙂 If you have not ever tried golden kiwi from New Zealand, I highly recommend them.

 

grillwhitebackground
The contents of my roasting pan. Amazing how simple and delicious roasted vegetables can be.
closeupcorn
Nothing better than roasted red onions.

 

whitegrillcloseup
Roasted lime really is an underrated ingredient. Everything congeals into pure concentrated flavor.

 

grilledcornmacro
I roasted at 400 degrees and for the things like the corn that did not get brown enough, I smeared on a little butter to speed up the process.

platedcrabs

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.

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