Soft shell crab with garlic chive flowers

Soft shell crab with garlic chive flowers

Mmmm … soft shell crab. This has to be one of my favourites. My cravings for this inexpensive seafood have been so strong lately I couldn’t help but duck off to Chinatown over the weekend and pick up a box of these little critters as well as a few fresh ingredients to go with it. The crabs usually come boxed in kilogram quantities from many seafood shops for around $16. If you’re at the Sydney Fish Market expect to pay $20 for one kilo. Each box holds around 7 or 8 crabs and they’re neatly wrapped in plastic for easy freeing if you’re not using them all.

Here’s a delicious light meal I knocked up for dinner last night.
Softshell crab with garlic chives recipe
Garlic chives
Softshell crab with garlic chives recipe

soft shell crab with garlic chive flowers

serves 2


  • 1 1/2 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch flowering garlic chives, cut into 7cm lengths (discard hard ends)
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Umeboshi vinegar
  • 3 soft shell crabs, halved and drained of moisture
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup flour + 1/2 cup cornflour, mixed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tbsp red chilli, finely diced
  • 2/3 cup chervil leaves


In a small dish, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce and vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

On a large plate or in a bowl combine the flours, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat about 3 cups of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Dip the crab halves into the egg white, drain and then coat in the flour mixture. Shake off excess and fry in the vegetable oil a few minutes each side, or until cooked. Drain and set aside in a warm place.

Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a wok, add the garlic and stir-fry over medium heat until lightly golden. Add the garlic chives, soy sauce mixture and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the chilli and crab and toss quickly to coat.

Spoon onto serving plates and garnish with chervil leaves.

Serve with cooked rice, if you wish.

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