8 soft shell crabs, halved
150g plain flour
150ml iced soda water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 or 4 small red chillies, finely chopped
coriander sprigs for garnish
It is very difficult to find fresh soft-shell crab in the UK, almost all is frozen. However don't despair as they still taste delicious and in frozen form readily available in asian supermarkets.
Firstly make the dressing. Simply place all the ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine.
Before making the batter start to heat the oil in the wok (or deep fat fryer) to 160 C. Now make the batter by sieving both the plain flour and the cornflour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the ice-cold soda water. Mix with a fork very lightly. Leave it lumpy as this will lighten the batter during the frying.
Dip each crab into the batter and lower into the heated oil. Cook in batches depending on size of wok/deep fat fryer to prevent the temperature of the oil dropping. Cook 2-3 minutes or until crispy; remove and drain on absorbent paper. Repeat with the remaining crabs and batter.
Serve immediately with the dressing garnished with a little coriander and enjoy the wonderful south-east asian shell fish flavours - a great way to lift a gloomy wet day!