Chef Rick Bayless, founder of the famed Frontera Grill and Topolobampo in Chicago, prepared this dish by simply grilling softshell crabs and serving them with a crunchy slaw made of jicama, a root vegetable with a flavor reminiscent of fresh water chestnuts.
1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned
3 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and julienned
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for
7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
5 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 medium tomatoes, diced
3 serrano chiles, seeded, if desired, and minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 medium white onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 avocado, peeled and diced
8 softshell crabs, cleaned
1 lime, cut into wedges
1. Combine jicama, cucumber, and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro in a medium bowl. Dress with 4 tbsp. olive oil and 4 tbsp. lime juice. Season to taste with salt, mix well, and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, combine tomatoes, chiles, garlic, onions, avocado, and remaining chopped cilantro. Dress with remaining lime juice, season with salt, and mix gently; set aside.
3. Lightly brush a hot grill or grill pan with 1 tbsp. oil. Brush crabs with remaining 2 tbsp. oil, then place on grill and cook until firm, about 2 minutes on each side. To serve, divide jicama salad and tomato-avocado salsa among four plates. Top each plate with 2 crabs and garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.