There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe but don’t let that scare you off they are all pretty straightforward it is just to make sure we end up with a crab leg appetizer that will leave a lasting impression on your guest. This is a very nice way to serve shellfish such as crab, lobster, and or shrimp leave a tiny bit of the shell on the end for appearance sake it looks really cool in contrast to the tempura batter which fries up nice and light and is very soft in its flavor.
With many seafood items you want to be careful when frying not to overpower the seafood as much of it is very delicate in flavor and a strong batter just drowns out the taste of the seafood and that is not the object of the batter is to compliment the food not overwhelm it. Crab especial is one to take note of as of the shellfish it is probably one of the most delicate in flavor although in the boiling process in this recipe we do introduce some bold flavors.
I give you the recipe for an Asian dipping sauce I have used in the past but you could also or instead serve these with typical tarter sauce or cocktail sauce if you prefer with or without extra horseradish in it depending on how you like the heat level in it. Personally of the cocktail sauces we like the “Ken’s Steak House Cocktail Sauce” if not making our own and with extra horseradish too and it is also nice with shrimp.
- 36 medium crab legs, uncooked
- 1 cup vinegar, apple cider
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 chipotle chilies, diced
- 1 tablespoon coriander, whole
- 1 tablespoon peppercorns, whole
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon mustard seed, whole
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1⅔ cups rice flour
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
- ⅔ cup cornstarch
- 12 ounces seltzer water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 quart peanut oil, for frying
- 1⅔ cups orange juice
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce, low sodium
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger root, peeled
- 1 jalapeño pepper, diced fine
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1½ tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
- 4 tablespoon honey
- Fresh lemon , quartered to garnish (optional)
- Fill a stockpot with water, and bring it to a boil, to the boiling water add the vinegar, wine, chipotle chilies, coriander, peppercorns, mustard seed, and sea salt. Allow the crab legs to cook until they become a bright pinkish orange color, this should be about fifteen to twenty minutes. Remove from the water mixture and allow to cool until they are easy to handle safely.
- To make the tempura batter, mix rice flour, baking powder, and cornstarch in a bowl.
- Start by dredging the crab legs in this dry mixture first; shake any excess mixture back into the same bowl.
- Next to the dry flour mixture add the seltzer water in a slow stream all the while whisking it continually to form it into a batter. Season this with sea salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the peanut oil to around 375 degrees F., or as stated in the manufacturer's directions for other similar foods in your deep fat fryer.
- Remove the crabmeat from its shells.
- Start by dipping each crab leg piece into the batter, and then place it into deep fat fryer. Allow to cook in the oil until it becomes golden brown in color (see picture). Remove from the oil and allow draining on paper towels for a few moments and serving while still warm.
- After the crab is removed from the water and cooling from the first cooking is a perfect time to make your sauce.
- Place everything except the honey into a small sauce pan and blend with a whisk and allow to simmer until it reduces in volume by half or more if you like it thicker.
- Remove the pan from heat and allow cooling a bit while whisking in the honey when cooled serve with the hot crab legs.
This elegant looking plate of crab legs is fried in a tempura batter to give the crab a batter that is light in flavor as possible in contrast to the mellow crab. We do infuse some flavor in the boiling process with the boiling ingredients which does give the crab a bit more flavor than you may be use to with crab legs. This is a very good way to impart flavor into seafood and other things you are going to fry and otherwise not introduce a distinct flavor otherwise.
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