Soft Shell Crab2 - Soft Shell Crab

This is a short video brought to you by Rob Gerrish, head chef at Super Event Sussex Catering.

This dish is extremely popular at Super Event Sussex Catering and is one of Rob’s favourite dishes to make at the moment.

You will use Belachen fermented shrimp paste in this recipe. Belachen is an essential part of Malaysian cooking. It smells revolting but it is a real background flavour used for seasoning, similar to an oriental fish stock cube.



  • Soft Shell Crab
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Brioche buns

For the Asian-style slaw:

  • Shredded white cabbage
  • Shredded white mooli
  • Shredded carrot
  • Shredded spring onions
  • Chopped coriander
  • Lime juice
  • Salt and pepper

For the Chilli sauce:

  • Soya sauce
  • Sriracha chilli sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Belachen fermented shrimp paste
  • Sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh chicken stock (a stock cube is also fine for this recipe)



Begin by making the authentic chilli sauce. You will need to place the olive oil into a heated pan. Add two diced cloves of garlic and a diced thumb sized piece of ginger into the pan and leave this mixture to sweat.

Break up the belachen fermented shrimp paste into the pan and leave to simmer until it has softened. This process should only take about a minute. Add 2 / 3 tablespoons of ketchup and 1 /2 tablespoons of chilli sauce into the pan. You can now add a squirt of soya sauce and the chicken stock. Rob uses fresh chicken stock in this recipe but you may choose to use a stock cube.

Sweeten the sauce with a little bit of sugar and let it simmer until it starts getting thicker and sticky.

Once you have completed these steps you can begin to make your Asian-style slaw.

Begin your Asian-style slaw by adding the shredded cabbage, shredded mooli, shredded carrots and shredded spring onions into a bowl. Add the chopped coriander and season with salt, pepper and a squirt of lime juice.

Toss the mixture and leave in a bowl to infuse for a while.

The soft shell crabs that Rob has used in this video came frozen and are available at any good fish mongers. Rob describes these soft shell crabs as delicate little gems of seafood and you are able to eat the whole thing.

Once you have patted your crabs dry, you can begin to batter them. Batter your crabs by covering them in flour, dipping them in a good coating of egg and then rolling and covering them in breadcrumbs.

Rob deep fries the crabs at 180 degrees, but you may choose to shallow fry them.

The crabs will only require 3 / 4 minutes of frying and you can remove them from the fryer when you notice the shell going pink.

Once you have removed the crabs, pat them dry to remove any excess oil.

You are now ready to take the chilli sauce you prepared earlier and begin to heat in a frying pan.

Place your crabs in the pan of chilli sauce and whack up the heat. While waiting for your crabs to brown and fry to a crispy consistency, you now have time to toast the brioche buns.

Once your brioche buns are toasted, you are able to assemble your Asian-style slaw on top and by this time your crabs will be ready.

Serving Tip:

Try to dab or pat your crabs dry to avoid excess oil. Use salad leaves as garnish on the plate, you could serve with a slice of lemon.