The issue with crab is a simple one. It takes a lot of hard work to get inside that tough shell if you want to enjoy the sweet, sweet meat inside. You've got to crack, prod and extract if you're ever going to get anywhere. So it's lucky that there's the soft shell crab to save you all the hassle. It's even luckier for you that it's a real favourite in all kinds of cuisines so you'll find it everywhere from the seafood section of Chinese restaurant menus to Thai takeaways. Whether deep-fried or served in a salad it's hard to think of another ingredient that tastes quite so much of the sea. So go for it and dive in to these fantastic dishes.
1. Sweet Chilli Jam Soft Shell Crab - Pron Prohm
Pron Prohm is one of Sydney's most popular Thai restaurants so when you hear that their Sweet Chilli Jam Soft Shell Crab is a very popular signature dish you know you're in for a treat. It's finely chopped before being stir fried to a state of sizzling delight along with crunchy celery, onions and shallots. But what really lifts the dish is the addition of the sweetly warming jam that's vibrant with the flavours of garlic and ginger too.
2. Soft Shell Crab Roll - Sushi Tengoku
When a Japanese restaurant like Sushi Tengoku tells you that their version of the Soft Shell Crab Roll is the best that you'll find, it's time to sit up and take notice. It's a flavoursome combination of deep-fried crab, fish roe, mayo and avocado that's bursting with fresh flavours and contrasting textures. And if you just can't get enough of the crunch-free crustaceans then also try their Kaarage – four pieces deep fried in crisp, light batter.
3. Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab Burger - Oratnek
Get ready for one of the most satisfying burgers ever and just one of Oratnek's Summer Specials. The shredded crab is served in a bun with mixed leaves and fiery wasabi tartare with aonobi chips on the side. It's a combination that works so perfectly we can't understand why it's not featured on many more burger menus. Rich, unctuous and full of umami seasonings, it's one not to be missed.
4. Soft-Shell Crab with Green Papaya Salad - Chong Co
So far we've only been talking about enjoying the crab on its own. But in this fantastic dish from Chong Co it's just one of the many ingredients in this stunning Thai-style salad. It's joined by fresh green papaya and the crunchy additions of carrots, chopped peanuts and green beans. Also in the mix are sweet tomatoes as well as a sharp lemon and tamarind dressing. The complex range of flavours and textures means that every forkful is different and it's all made even more satisfying with the addition of the exceptionally sweet and yielding crab meat.