Vegetable oil for deep frying
1 tablespoon Essence, plus more for sprinkling, recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and rinsed gently under cold
4 pieces of French bread, each about 8 to 10 inches in
length, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 creole tomato, or other very ripe flavorful tomato,
very thinly sliced
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oil in a large
saucepan or deep fryer to 360 degrees F.
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)
Rinse crabs and pat dry. Combine the flour with the
Essence, salt and ground black pepper and stir to
combine well. Lightly dredge each crab in the seasoned
flour, making sure that the crabs are completely coated.
Using tongs, gently lower the crabs (in batches if
necessary) completely into the oil and fry until golden
brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the crabs over and fry
an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown and
crispy all over. Be careful - crabs will splatter as
they are cooking! Carefully transfer crabs to
paper-lined plates to drain briefly before assembling
poboys. Sprinkle with Essence when still hot.
Using a spatula, lightly coat both of the cut sides
of the French bread with some of the mayonnaise. Place
two of the fried soft shell crabs onto one side of the
bread, and top with shredded lettuce and tomato slices.
Top with the other half of the bread and serve