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Brick-Weighted Soft-Shell Crabs with Lime-Garlic Mojo

Brick-Weighted Soft-Shell Crabs with Lime-Garlic Mojo

The brick squeezes out all the excess water in the crab, and forces the side of the crab that's against the hot pan to become extremely crisp. When you cut into a brick-weighted soft-shell crab, it's like cutting into a crispy piece of lobster meat. You can serve the crabs just as they are, or with melted butter -- or with this delicious garlic-and-citrus sauce, adapted from Cuban cuisine. Serves 4

SKU 932-Recipe

  • 4 Serves


  • 12 small soft-shell crabs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • for the mojo
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • flour for dredging
  • butter for sautéing


  1. Season the crabs with salt and pepper and place in the buttermilk. Soak for 1 hour. Remove and pat dry.
  2. While the crabs are soaking, prepare the mojo: Place the olive oil in a small, heavy saucepan over moderately low heat. Add the garlic and cook slowly for 5 minutes, or until golden, not brown. Add the lime juice, stir, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and add the cilantro. Refrigerate until cool.
  3. To prepare crabs: Lightly dredge the crabs in the flour. Melt the butter in a pan or pans large enough to hold the crabs in a single layer over moderately high heat. (There should be a thin layer of butter in each pan.) After the foam subsides, add the crabs. Immediately place a heavy weight (like a brick or a heavy pan) over them. Cook for 3 minutes, turn each crab over, and again top with the weights. Cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Dab each crab with some of the mojo. Serve immediately, 3 to a portion.