Recipe: Atul Kochhar’s crispy soft shell crab


P&O Cruises’ Food Hero Atul Kochhar shares his recipe for fried soft shell crab with a tomato, cucumber, mango and passion fruit salsa

Atul Kochhar’s crispy soft shell crab with fresh mango salsa

Due to my love of ocean creatures, we’ve had Karara Kekda, or crispy soft shell crab, on the menu at my Mayfair restaurant Benares pretty much since it opened in 2003. These crabs have shed their hard shell and can be eaten whole once the mouthparts, gills and abdomen have been removed. The sea flavour is quite pronounced, so I pair the crab with a tangy concoction of avocado, spices and fruits such as kumquat, mango, plum and passion fruit.

Serves 5


5 soft shell crabs

Crab marinade
25g rice flour
25g corn flour
5g fresh ginger and garlic paste
5g turmeric powder
5g coriander powder
2g red chilli powder
5ml mustard oil
5g coriander leaf
5g fresh ginger, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Fresh mango salsa
150g ripe fresh mango
150g cucumber (seeds removed)
150g ripe tomatoes (seeds removed), diced
50g red onion, diced
Pulp of 2 passion fruit


How to make

Soft shell crab
1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together

2. Clean the soft shell crabs in running water and pat dry

3. Rub the marinade onto the crabs and leave for 30 minutes

4. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer to 190 degrees centigrade and fry the crabs for 2-3 minutes or until crisp

5. Remove and dry on kitchen paper

Fresh mango salsa
1. Prepare and dice the ingredients into small pieces

2. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mixing in the passion fruit pulp


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