Soft-shell crabs can be sautéed or grilled, but deep frying, for me, gives the most even cooking and the crispest results. Crabs placed on top of a sauce, as they are in this recipe, do not become soggy, as they might if the sauce were poured over them.
Clean the crabs by lifting up the side flaps and pulling off the feathery gills. Remove the flap underneath. Rinse in cold water.
Puree the parsley in a mortar and pestle or in a food processor with the aioli. If using the mortar, mix the parsley puree into the aioli. Thin with
Heat the oil to
While the crabs are frying, cook the fish stock and garlic over high heat for 1 minute. Add the tomato and the basil leaves, making sure all the basil is immediately submerged in the liquid so it doesn’t turn black. Season the sauce and stir in the butter to make a liaison.
Pour the sauce on 4 warm plates and put the crabs on top. Drizzle the parsley sauce over the crabs.
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