Recipe: Fried Soft-shell Crab with Tartar Sauce

So someone gave me a box of soft-shell crab, specifically mud crabs from Indonesia. Soft-shell crab are basically crabs that just molted or crawled out of its old shell. Like what happens to snakes and some bugs. I’m not sure if these crustaceans are farmed or fishermen catch them by waiting for molting season (is there such a thing?) or fishermen caught them by chance. Anyway, I didn’t know how to cook this type of crab but I discovered the most common way is just to fry it.

The crabs that I got were not yet cleaned so I researched how-to’s and it was quite easy (you can Google it but I’ll explain it below, no pictures though). This recipe is simple and I accompanied it with a tartar sauce, which is always perfect for seafood.


500 g soft-shell crab (5 to 6 pcs.)
1 cup of flour
1 lemon
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper

Tartar sauce

½ cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. chopped chives


1. Clean the crabs. You can actually ask your fishmonger to do this. First, using kitchen shears cut off the face of the crab. Then lift the side of the top shell and remove the gills (the pointy things with bristles). Do this on both sides. Then flip the crab and on its underside or abdomen, remove the triangular shell cover completely. And you’re done!
2. Make the tartar sauce. Mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Pat the crabs with a cloth or paper towel, but don’t wipe it completely dry. Then season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, season the flour lightly and spread on a plate. While doing this, heat oil in a pan. You can do a deep fry method or shallow fry. What I used was the shallow frying method.
4. Dredge crabs with flour. Let the crab sit for a couple of minutes before putting in oil.
5. Fry the crabs, cook each side for 2 to 3 minutes. It’s important that you do not overcook the crabs. You want them crispy on the outside, tender and juicy in the inside. Also when frying, do not overcrowd the pan.
6. Place on paper towels after removing from pan then serve immediately. Squeeze lemon on crab before serving. Serve tartar sauce on the side. Eat them with a side of salad or seafood soup. Enjoy!

Serves 2 to 3


Recipe: Onion Rings with Tartar Sauce

If I don’t have chips or popcorn, I would always try to find something to cook. One of the go-to snacks I love is onion rings. It’s easy and super good. I usually have this with mayonnaise and ketchup but this time, I try tartar sauce, which is both creamy and tart, and has the kick of garlic.


4 pcs. yellow onion (the local variety is smaller, use two if the bigger variety is available)
1 egg
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper
Oil for deep frying.

Tartar sauce
4 tbsp. mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. scallions


1. Over low heat, heat oil.
2. Slice onions into rings and put in a bowl. Beat egg slightly and pour in with the rings, mix well to coat every ring. Then add flour, one tablespoon at a time, then season with salt and pepper.
3. Fry onion rings per batch. This will take only a few minutes. Wait until rings become golden brown. Let drain on paper towel.
4. Make the sauce. Mince garlic. Put mayonnaise in a small bowl, add lemon juice and minced garlic. Combine well.
5. Serve together and enjoy!

Serves 2