Serves 4


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 1-inch piece peeled ginger
  • 1 habanero or jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, or dried red chili flakes to taste
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or olive oil, or neutral oil, like corn or canola Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime juice to taste
  • 8 soft-shell crabs, cleaned



  1. Start a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill or broiler; fire should be moderately hot and rack 4 inches or less from heat source.
  2. Combine cilantro in a blender or food processor with garlic, ginger, chili and oil. Turn on machine and purée, adding a bit of water — about 1/4 cup or less — to allow machine to do its work. If necessary, stop machine and scrape down sides. Remove purée to a bowl and add some salt and pepper, then thin with a tablespoon or two of lime juice; taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Sprinkle crabs with salt and pepper and grill until firm, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Serve immediately, with a little cilantro salsa spooned over them.

Click below for a pdf of:
Grilled Soft Shell Crab w Cilantro Salsa