Jaibas Enchipotladas (Pan-Fried Crabs in Chipotle Sauce)

  • Serves

    serves 4-6


To simplify this recipe from Tabasco state for pan-fried crabs in a smoky chipotle sauce, ask your fishmonger to clean and cut the live crabs in half for you. This recipe first appeared in our August/September 2012 issue, with Carmen Boullosa's article On The Backs of Crabs.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 12 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, plus 2 tbsp. adobo sauce from can
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 6 blue crabs, cleaned and halved from head to tail
  • 6 tbsp. canola oil
  • Lime wedges, for serving


Step 1

Combine mayonnaise, Worcestershire, and chiles with sauce in a food processor, and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, and set aside. Combine garlic and salt on a cutting board and using your knife, mash and chop into a smooth paste; rub paste evenly over crab halves.

Step 2

Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the crabs and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, red, and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl with chipotle sauce, and repeat with remaining oil and crabs. Toss crabs with sauce until evenly coated, and serve immediately with lime wedges.
Roberto Santibañez, chef-owner of Fonda restaurants in New York City

Chipotles en Adobo "Canned chipotles en adobo bring complex, smoky sweetness to dishes like the jaibas enchipotladas. Flavors vary widely between brands; my favorites are La Morena, San Marcos, and La Costeña. Once you've opened a can, save leftovers by pureeing them along with their flavorful sauce and storing them in a glass container in the refrigerator." —Roberto Santibañez, chef-owner of Fonda restaurants in New York City

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