Softshell Crab Sandwich with Collard Slaw

  • Serves

    serves 4


A crisp collard slaw and tangy tartar and cocktail sauces top pan-fried softshell crabs in this classic sandwich, which comes to us from Virginia native Patrick Evans-Hylton.



  • 12 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 12 tsp. bread and butter pickles, finely chopped
  • 1 12 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 12 tsp. minced sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 12 tsp. garlic powder
  • 12 tsp. chile flakes
  • 12 cup chile sauce
  • 12 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. Asian hot sauce, such as Sriracha
  • 12 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 12 tsp. celery seed
  • 18 tsp. dry mustard
  • 12 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 6 leaves collard greens, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 12 small onion, coarsely grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 8 softshell crabs, cleaned
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups flour
  • 13 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 buns, toasted


Step 1

Make the tartar sauce: Combine mayonnaise, pickles, lemon juice, onion, garlic powder, chile flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl; refrigerate 3 hours.

Step 2

Make the cocktail sauce: Whisk the chile sauce, ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, and hot sauce in a bowl; cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Step 3

Make the coleslaw: Whisk vinegar, sugar, oil, celery seeds, and mustard in a large bowl; add parsley, collards, carrot, onion, salt, and pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour before serving.

Step 4

Cook the crabs: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and pepper; set aside. Coat crabs in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Heat oil and butter in a 12” skillet over medium-high; working in batches, fry crabs, turning once, until golden brown, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Step 5

To assemble the sandwich, slather tartar sauce and cocktail sauce on inside of buns; top each sandwich with 2 crabs and coleslaw.

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