Soft Shell Crab in a Sesame Tempura – This recipe is now one of my all-time favourite dishes to make as it is so simple and the prep involved is really quick and easy, but you end up with a simply stunning dish both in taste and in presentation.
I have served soft shell crab twice so far, in the Blondie/Bella dinner party nights that we hold for each other’s families every 6 weeks or so. The first version was this recipe but I threw some coriander into the batter for a bit of Thai inspiration – I named that dinner ‘All Thaied Up’.
As you can guess from the title, it was a Thai/Asian theme. There were 3 courses (4 really, but dessert was a purchased pistachio ice cream when my peanut ice cream didn’t work out so it’s not included as a course). Just prior to this dinner party two fellow makeup artist friends took me out to Longrain here in Sydney, for a belated birthday dinner. The night was the hottest night on record for Sydney – it was still 33 degrees at midnight! People were walking around with their shirts lifted off their bodies and skirts hitched up just to try and cool down. It was a funny sight in Sydney at night, especially in Surry Hills. Anyway, I was so inspired by Longrain that I purchased Martin Boetz’ book, Longrain: Modern Thai Food, and set forth to recreate some of his dishes (by the way, the Ginger Rogers cocktail is an absolute MUST! Although it’s unfortunately not in the book)
The first course for my dinner was the Light Red Curry of Angus Beef, the second course was the Peanut Curry of Grilled Beef (I did it with lamb) and the third was the Sesame and Coriander Soft Shell Crab (not a Longrain recipe). The fourth was going to be his (Martin’s) Peanut Ice Cream, which was just sooooo amazing, but the recipe isn’t in his book so it was purely guess work – which failed! But my soft shell crab was fantastic! I served it with 2 dipping sauces, a sweet chili sauce, and a ginger and soy sauce.
If you are brave enough you can purchase live crabs, but I’m not! I get my soft shell crab from an Asian mini mart in Chatswood. They come frozen in a nice little box of about 10 or so, with each crab neatly put into a plastic sleeve which means I always has some in the freezer for emergencies!