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
- 1⁄2 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
- 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.
- 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.
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