The chilli-spiked sauce is the perfect match with crisp-battered crab.  






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  • 8 soft shell crabs, cleaned and gutted
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) oil, for frying
  • salt and pepper, to season
  • lime halves and greens (such as snow pea shoots), to serve


  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) soda water (club soda)
  • 120 g (4 oz) self-raising (self-rising) flour

Chili tomato jam

  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) red wine
  • 200 g (7 oz) brown sugar
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) lemon juice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 800 g (1 lb 12 oz) tinned peeled tomatoes, drained

Vegetable ribbon salad

  • 1 telegraph (long) cucumber
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 1 yellow carrot
  • 1 purple carrot 

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


1. To make the chilli tomato jam, add the wine, brown sugar, chillies, lemon juice and cinnamon to a saucepan. Bring to the boil and cook until reduced by half. Reduce the heat, add the tomatoes and continue to cook until further reduced and a jammy consistency is reached. Allow to cool.

2. To make the vegetable ribbon salad, peel the vegetables into long ribbons using a peeler or mandolin. Soak in iced water until required.

3. To make the batter, whisk the flour and soda water together until smooth.

4. Heat a deep-fryer to 180°C (350°F). Dust the cleaned and dried crab with cornflour and salt and pepper. Dip each crab in the batter and place into the deep fryer separately (do not overcrowd the pan). Cook until golden, then drain on paper towel.

5. To serve, place the crab on top of the ribbon salad. Add the chilli jam in a small ramekin on the side. Garnish with greens and serve with lime halves. 


Recipe from Coya – French, Middle Eastern Cuisine by Ashraf Saleh (New Holland Publishers RRP $39.99).