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Panzanella Beer-Battered Soft Shell Crabs

The beer used is your choice, however the darker the beer the better. A "John Courage" Amber or a "Cottonwood - Low Down Brown" will give you more flavor than, say an Olympia, Black Label Light or Cost Cutter. You'll only need a bottle or two, but if you pick up a six-pack you can drink the rest.

Also, the oil used to fry should be right around 350 degrees. Peanut oil, or soy oil works fine at this temperature; olive oil and to a lesser degree, canola, have a lower burning point and are not very good frying oils. Choose a pot that has a thick bottom and that will hold enough oil to submerge the crab in. A simple candy thermometer usually comes with an attachment to mount on the side of a pot.


1 1/2 Bottles of suds
1/2 tsp baking powder (to make it rise)
1 Tbsp of cornstarch (to make it crispy)
1 egg
1 3/4 Cups All Purpose flour
1 tsp of Kosher Salt (less if using iodized)
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1 minced shallot
2 cloves of finely chopped or pressed garlic
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (adds richness)

Season your crab with salt and pepper, and then dredge through flour. Dip the crab into the batter completely covering it. Let the excess drip off and then slowly submerge in your hot oil. If you hold onto the crab almost totally submerged for about five seconds before you let go, it will not stick to the bottom. After two minutes the crab will rise to the surface. Flip, and let cook for another minute and remove to a paper bag (or paper towel) to drain. Serve immediately with anything you please; catsup, tartar sauce, honey-mustard, remoulade, Creole mayonnaise, horseradish dipping sauce, etc...this Recipe will make enough to cover about 2 to three pounds of crab.


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