Soft Shell Crab Pasta with Cilantro-Ginger Pesto
Makes 4 servings
You can use any type of linguine or spaghetti for this dish, but it really tastes great if you use fresh pasta.
4 soft shell crabs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 pound fresh squid ink (or regular) linguine
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 bunch scallions (about 8), thinly sliced, white and green parts divided
1 head Napa or Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 cup cilantro ginger pesto
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. In a baking dish or rimmed plate, soak the crabs in the milk for 20 minutes, flipping once or twice.
3. Place the flour on a shallow plate. Remove the crabs from the milk, one at a time, shaking off an excess, and dredge them in the flower.
4. Heat the oil, butter, and chili flakes in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the crabs in batches until golden brown and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
5. Return the heat to medium-low. Add the shallots and the white parts of the scallions to the pan. Saute for 3 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the crabs. Add the cabbage and saute until wilted, about 5 minutes.
6. In the meantime, cook the pasta until al dente. (If using fresh, this will only take 2-3 minutes). Drain and toss together with the scallion-cabbage mixture and 1/2 cup of the pesto. Taste for seasoning.
7. To serve, divide the pasta between 4 plates, top each with a soft shelled crab and a generous dollop of pesto. Garnish with cilantro, and dig in!
Makes 1 cup
1/4 cup cashews
One 3-inch knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon siracha
1. Pulse the cashews, ginger, and garlic until minced. Add the cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and siracha. Puree until smooth, adding extra oil until the texture is silky. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or siracha as necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.