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Cornmeal-Crusted Soft-Shelled Crabs

  • 2 c. buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 8 live soft-shelled crabs, preferably 4 to 5 inches wide, cleaned
  • About 2 qt. vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 c. self-rising cake flour
  • 1 c. yellow cornmeal

Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, salt, and pepper and pour into a 3-quart shallow dish. Add crabs and soak, covered and chilled, 1 hour.

Heat enough oil to measure 2 inches in a wide 4-quart heavy pot to 375 degrees.

Whisk together flour and cornmeal and transfer to a large sealable plastic bag. Lift 1 crab out of buttermilk, letting excess drip off, and shake in bag to coat with flour. Knock off excess flour and transfer to a tray.

Repeat with remaining crabs. Deep-fry crabs until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Return oil to 375 degrees between batches. Drain crabs on paper towels.

Serves 4.

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