Soft-shell Crab with Asparagus, Fava Beans, Sweet Onions, and Ricotta

Adapted by
May 2013
Yield: 4 portions


1 cup White Lily self-rising flour
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon paprika
white pepper
1 cup Soda water
To Assemble and Serve
10 asparagus spears
4 soft-shelled crabs, cleaned
¼ cup shelled fava beans
1 small spring sweet onion
¼ bulb fennel,thinly shaved
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped chervil
Juice and zest of one Meyer lemon
Pea shoots
1½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh ricotta salata
white pepper


For the Tempura:
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients and whisk in soda water until smooth.

To Assemble and Serve:
Set a deep fryer to 350°F. In a large pot, blanch asparagus and favas and shock in ice bath. Cut asparagus into ½-inch pieces and peal outer skin from favas. Cut onion into petals and sweat in 1 tablespoon olive oil until translucent. Add asparagus and favas and warm for 2 minutes on medium heat before adding lemon juice, zest, and half the herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dip crab in tempura and fry 4 to 5 minutes. Rest 4 minutes and cut. Place atop warmed vegetables and dress fennel and pea shoots with remaining olive oil, herbs, zest, and lemon juice. Garnish crab with salad and crumbled ricotta salata.