Recipe of the month : Soft-shell Crab Tempura [fr]

This month, the Consulate’s Chef teaches us how to cook soft-shell crab tempura with guacamole and pico de gallo!

Hello everyone!

September is upon us. I invite you to prepare together a recipe that is light and perfect to finish summer. This original recipe mixes Latin flavors with seafood cooked in the Japanese style, all this with incredible simplicity and achievable in minutes. But above all, it is also an opportunity for me to talk about soft-shell crab. The French term for it, "crabe mou”, is not very inviting, so it is better to go by the term “crabe en mue.”

The soft-shell crab is a dish found in the United States, Italy and Japan. It is usually seasoned and breaded with flour or breading, then sautéed or fried, and finally served with lemon juice or tartar sauce.

On the menu of our recipe of the month: tempura soft-shell crab, served with avocado purée, and a tomato and chili salsa drizzled with lime and chopped coriander.

Ingredients for 4 people


  • 50g of flour
  • 50g of maizena or corn starch
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 100g of cold water (trick: use sparkling water)
  • Frying oil
  • 4 soft-shell crabs


  • 2 ripe avocadoes
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 3-4 fresh coriander stems
  • 1 pepper (can be replaced by paprika and a touch of tabasco)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt, pepper

Pico de Gallo

  • 2 medium tomatoes cut into small cubes
  • ½ red onion cut into small cubes
  • 1 clove of garlic, degermed and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno without the seeds and cut into small cubes
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Chopped coriander
  • 1 small box of canned corn (optional)


Preparation of the Tempura Mix

The tempura batter is made using very cold ingredients, and even ice water. I place my flour and egg in the fridge for a better result.

The egg yolk and the flour are mixed gently, and the ice water is gradually added, stirring with a whisk so as to leave lumps.

These will burst in the boiling oil, under the effect of the thermal shock between the boiling oil and the very cold batter, and will give these crunchy irregularities that make the successful tempura.

The fluidity is close to that of a pancake batter.

Preparation of the Guacamole

  • Crush the flesh of the two avocadoes.
  • Cut the tomato into small cubes.
  • Mince the onion into small cubes as well.
  • Chop the coriander.
  • Cut the pepper very thinly (start with small quantities… and add if necessary).
  • Squeeze the limes.
  • Once this preparation is complete, mix everything and keep cool until service.

Preparation of the Pico de Gallo

  • Mix all ingredients.
  • Season with lime juice, olive oil, salt, sprinkle with coriander, and then mix well.
  • Serve immediately or leave to cool for one hour.

Preparation of the Crab Tempura

  • Take a small pair of scissors. Start by removing the caudal plate by exerting a twist to simultaneously remove the digestive tract. Trim the shell in a straight line about one to two millimeters at eye level.
  • Carefully lift the shell on each side so that you can reach the gills and cut them. Do not pull too much, so as to avoid taking off the shell in the middle.
  • Rinse the soft-shell crab under cold water, then place it on absorbent paper, and leave it for about an hour, until it is fully drained.
  • Put the crab in the tempura mix.
  • Fry it.

With this little quote from Mr. Samuel Chamberlain, I wish you all “bon appétit”…

“The fine art of gastronomy is a warm art. It goes beyond the language barrier, makes friends among civilized people and warms the heart.”

Last modified on 13/12/2019

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