Crab meat is delicious, but it's a bit of a hassle to get your hands on, what with the rock-hard shell and all. That's why soft shell crab – fished when it's just shed its shell and before the new one's had a chance to harden – makes such a great starter, and one that's easy to whip up at home. Amsterdam restaurant 5&33 serves it with salsa verde – see below for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 8 soft shell crab divided in half
  • 150g type 00 flour
  • 20g cornflour
  • 200ml sparkling water
  • 5 ice cubes
  • sea salt
  • 1 litre vegetable oil
  • 1 fresh red chilli

For the salsa verde

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • small handful of capers
  • handful of fresh parsley
  • glug of olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Prepare the batter by mixing the flours, the water cooled with the ice and a pinch of salt. Mix to a very smooth, runny batter.
  2. Put the oil in a deep, thick-coated pan and heat up to 180 degrees. Toss the crabs lightly in the corn flour, and then dip them into the batter one at the time. Fry one at a time in the oil for under a minute or until crispy and golden.
  3. Serve topped with some freshly chopped chillies. Blend all the salsa verde ingredients together and pour into a bowl. Serve alongside the crab.

5and33.nl