Served with basil, and lemon wedges
Serves 8
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Pair the briny tang of these delicate soft shell crabs with a smoky scallion aioli, and you’ll have yourself some exquisite finger foods ready for entertaining. Also makes a great starter to impress if you’re having a dinner party.


  • ½ cup (100 g) rice flour
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 tsps sea salt flakes
  • 8 uncooked small soft-shell crabs (500g)
  • Vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves


  • ¾ cup (225g) mayonnaise
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Make green onion aioli. Combine ingredients in a small bowl.

Combine flour, chilli and salt in a medium bowl.

Clean crabs; pat dry then cut into quarters. Coat crab with flour mixture; shake off excess.


Fill a wok or large saucepan one-third full with oil; heat over medium heat to 180 C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 10 seconds). Deep-fry basil for 30 secs or until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Deep-fry crab, in batches, until browned lightly. Drain on paper towel.


Serve crab with basil, aioli and lemon wedges, if you like.

TIP To clean the soft shell crabs, lift back the flap on undersides and wipe clean with a damp piece of paper towel. Never wash seafood under a running tap as this will wash away the ‘sea’ flavour and waterlog the seafood. If you need to rinse, hold the seafood in one hand over the sink and use your other hand to gently splash the seafood with as little water as possible.


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