Cajun soft-shell crabs on buns

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
4 mediums Soft-shell crabs, cleaned
1 cup Skim milk
¾ cup All-purpose flour
½ teaspoon Paprika
¼ teaspoon Garlic powder
⅛ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 tablespoons Low-fat butter
4 Round sandwich buns or rolls, toasted
4 tablespoons Cajun Mayonnaise
2 Scallions, thinly sliced

Soft-shell crabs are one of the great culinary joys of springtime.

They should be purchased fresh, and most fish markets are happy to clean them for you. If not, the technique takes a little courage, but once you get the knack, it's really quite easy: Rinse each crab under cold water and, with scissors, snip off the head about ¼" behind the eyes. Turn the crab over on its back; lift and pull off the triangular apron on the lower part of the shell. Flip the crab over and pull back the points of the top shell. Remove and discard the gills on both sides. Rinse the cleaned crab and pat dry.

1. Soak prepared crabs in milk for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bag, combine flour, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne. Shake well; reserve.

2. Remove the crabs from the milk and dredge in the seasoned flour.

Shake off any excess flour.

3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute crabs, two at a time, for 4-5 minutes per side, or until crispy and browned.

Remove to a paper towel to drain.

4. Spread each toasted bun with 1 tablespoon of Cajun Mayonnaise, or more if desired. Sprinkle scallions on bottom half of bun, then top with a crab. Cover with top half of the bun and serve immediately.

Per serving (includes the 1 tablespoon of Cajun Mayonnaise): 361 calories, 11 grams fat, 89 milligrams cholesterol.

From: Michael Orchekowski Date: 09-26-94

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