I am so mad over these little soft shelled crabs, that I have stocked up my freezer while they are on offer. I also thought I would pick myself up some mussels. I have been in a curry mood of late and thought I would prefer a coconut curry broth rather than the traditional white wine and garlic. You can make the crabs in a crispy breadcrumb coating like me if you wish or you can do it the easy way and just throw them in when you put in the mussels.
500g of softshell crabs
100g of seasoned flour
200g of panko bread crumbs
300ml of buttermilk
1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)
500g of mussels
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of curry paste (red Thai or Indian)
1. Defrost your crabs, give them a little rinse in water, then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
2. If you are not coating them in breadcrumbs skip ahead to step 4. Set up three bowls ready for the coating. In the first put your seasoned flour, in the second your buttermilk, and the third should have your panko crumbs mixed with the paprika.
3. Heat your oil to 180 degrees. Then dip your crabs first into the seasoned flour, then into the buttermilk, and finally into the bread crumbs. You will need to cook them in batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Deep or shallow fry the crabs for a few minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Remove from the pan and cook the next batch. You can keep any cooked ones warm on a tray in the oven.
4. To prepare the mussels rinse them in cold water. In Korea they are generally cleaned pretty well already but if they have beards you should remove them. Throw away any that are not closed up tight.
5. Finely chop your onion and garlic and fry off in a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened. Add the mussels and curry paste and give it all a good stir before adding the coconut milk. Then turn up the heat and let them steam for about 5 minutes until all the mussels have opened.
6. Discard any mussels that are still closed. Chop the cilantro and add to the pot of curried mussels and stir. Serve in a bowl and top with your crispy crabs and spoon over more of the delicious curry juices. Sprinkle on more cilantro as is your want.