Abita Beer-Battered Tempura Soft Shell Crabs with Ponzu Dipping Sauce • Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine


Courtesy of Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs and Louisiana Cookin’ Magazine

Created by Chef Holly Goetting of Charley G’s restaurant in Lafayette for Abita Beer: Cooking Louisiana True cookbook.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 12-ounce bottle Abita Amber, divided
  • 4 5-inch soft-shell crabs
  • Enough milk to cover crabs
  • Peanut oil for frying
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh chives for garnish
  • Ponzu Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)

Put 1 cup flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the center of the flour. Pour 1 cup of the beer into the well and whisk until the mixture is blended. Cover and set aside for 1 hour. Before using the batter, whisk in remaining beer, as necessary, for the batter to be thick like pancake batter.
Clean the soft-shell crabs by cutting across the face with a pair of kitchen shears. Remove the eye sockets and the lower mouth. Carefully lift up the apron and remove the
gills. Gently rinse with cool water and pat dry.

Place the cleaned crabs in a shallow dish and add enough milk to cover. Let the crabs soak for 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat 3 inches of peanut oil to 350°F in a heavy Dutch oven or electric fryer. Remove the crabs, 1 at a time, from the milk, allowing excess milk to drain off. Season crabs with salt and pepper. Dust the crabs evenly with flour, then coat the crabs evenly with the batter, shaking off any excess. Carefully lower the crabs into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the crabs to paper towels to drain. Repeat the process with remaining crabs.
Arrange cooked crabs on plates. Garnish with chives. Serve immediately with Ponzu Dipping Sauce (recipe follows).

Ponzu Dipping Sauce


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Whisk the mayonnaise, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, mirin, and sesame oil in a small bowl.




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