Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  2. 1 Tbs. minced red onion

  3. 1 Tbs. finely chopped dill pickle

  4. 1 Tbs. rinsed and finely chopped capers

  5. 1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives

  6. 1-1/2 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning

  7. 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

  8. 1/4 tsp. hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco For the crabs

  9. 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  10. 1/4 cup medium-grind yellow cornmeal Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  11. 4 jumbo soft-shell crabs, cleaned (bodies about 5 inches across; 3 to 3-1/2 oz. each after cleaning)

  12. 2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil

  13. 1 Tbs. unsalted butter To assemble

  14. 8 slices white sandwich bread, toasted

  15. 4 large leaves Bibb lettuce

  16. 4 to 8 slices ripe tomato

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Make the sauce In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, onion, pickle, capers, with spicy tartar sauce chives, Old Bay, lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce. Set aside. Cook the crabs In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Dredge the crabs to coat on both sides (if the top shells are thicker than a piece of paper, pull them off before dredging). Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the butter to the skillet and swirl the pan to melt it. Add the crabs top side down and cook, shaking the pan once or twice, until crisp and browned, about 3 minutes. The crabs may pop and splatter, so be careful. Flip the crabs and cook until crisp and just cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the crab should read 145°F), about 3 minutes more. Transfer the crabs to a large paper-towel-lined plate. Assemble the sandwiches Spread the tartar sauce on the 8 slices of toast. Top 4 of the toast slices, sauce side up, with a piece of lettuce and 1 or 2 slices of tomato. Put one crab on each sandwich, top with the remaining toast, sauce side down, and serve.


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