Pan Fried Soft Shell Crab, Green Pea Pirlou, and Pea Shoot Salad
Yields 4 Servings
from Executive Chef Frank Lee of Maverick Southern Kitchens in Charleston
1 cup fresh English peas, blanched
½ cup Charleston Gold rice
4 small soft shell crabs
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, California or other top-quality variety
½ cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups rice flour
2 cups pea shoots (tendrils), loosely packed
2 small watermelon radishes, sliced in thin circles
½ cup almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon smoky salt
Blanche green peas in boiling water for 1−2 minutes and set aside.
Cook rice (if using Charleston Gold, note that the ratio is a little less than the 2:1 water to rice that is customary) and set aside.
Clean the softies with sharp scissors by removing lungs, eyes, and face and flap covering the bottom.
Cook blanched peas in a little butter, just until tender. Add lemon zest and fold into rice to make pirlou.
Make dressing for pea shoots with the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, shallots, and salt.
Dust crabs in rice flour and pan fry to a crispy golden brown.
To serve, spoon a little pirlou on a plate and place a softie on top. Toss pea shoots, radish, and almonds in dressing, top crab with a little salad, splash extra dressing on crab and around plate, and sprinkle with smoky salt.