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Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with Harissa Aioli

Try this seasonal Soft Shell Crab Sandwich With Harissa Aioli this spring or summer
Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with Harissa Aioli


Soft Shell Crab Sandwich with Harissa Aioli

Soft shell crabs are an east coast delicacy only available during the warmer months. Their crispy texture and rich flavor match up well against the dynamic spices and heat of the harissa aioli. — Courtesy of David Seigal, Executive Chef of Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar


  • 6 Cups canola oil
  • 4 jumbo soft shell crabs, cleaned
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 Cup harissa sauce
  • 3/4 Cups mayonnaise
  • 4 Portuguese buns (can substitute potato buns or soft sandwich bread)
  • 1 head of Boston lettuce, outer leaves removed
  • 1/2 Cup pickle chips (can substitute with your preferred pickled vegetable)
  • Salt, to taste


Add canola oil to a high-walled pot and bring to 375 degrees F.

Dredge the crabs through the flour, shaking them to remove any excess flour, and gently place them one by one into the cooking oil.

Allow the crabs to cook on one side for 3 minutes, then carefully flip each crab and cook on the other side for an additional 2 minutes.

Once the crabs are crisp, remove them from the oil and allow them to drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Season the crabs immediately with salt.

Mix the harissa and mayonnaise in a bowl and then spread the aioli onto both sides of the buns.

Place lettuce and pickles on the bottom of each of the buns, then top with crabs and serve.