- 4 jumbo soft-shell crabs (4 ounces each)
For the buttermilk wash:
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
For the coating:
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch salt
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon paprika
For the crabs:
- 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the garnish:
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Parsley sprigs
- If the crabs are not cleaned, remove the feelers underneath the shells on both sides. Wash the crabs and dry carefully.
- Combine the buttermilk and egg in a shallow container and whisk to combine.
- Combine the flour, pepper, salt, cayenne and paprika in a shallow medium dish; mix well.
- Place the vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat.
- Dip each crab into the buttermilk wash and then dredge in the flour mixture until well-coated.
- Place the crabs in the skillet, top side down, and saute for about 3 minutes per side, turning once. When they have finished cooking and are pink in color, remove to a side platter and loosely cover with foil.
- Heat the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallots for about 1 minute or until slightly softened. Add the lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Arrange the crabs on serving plates, drizzle over the sauce (or serve on the side) and garnish with lemon and parsley. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as a main course or 4 as a first course.