Soft Shell Crab Salted Eggs Benedict

Serving 4 pax
Preparation Time 30mins
Skill Advanced

For the hollandaise:
150g  Unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 Egg yolks
1tsp Tarragon or white wine vinegar
1 tbsp Knorr Salted Egg Powder
Few drops of lemon juice, to taste
Salt and ground white pepper

For the soft shell crab:
Vegetable oil, to fry
200g Cake flour or plain flour, sifted
½ tsp Fine salt
1 tsp Knorr Salted Egg Powder
1 large Egg yolk
315ml Soda water
4 soft shell crabs

To assemble:
4 Fresh eggs – the fresher the better – at room temperature
1 tbsp White wine vinegar
2 slices Toasted sourdough bread*
Chives, chopped, to garnish
Chilli flakes or cayenne pepper, to garnish, optional

*Available at your nearest FairPrice store.


To make the sauce:

  1. Cut the butter into cubes. Put the egg yolks, a cube of butter, the tarragon vinegar, Knorr Salted Egg Powder and a small pinch of salt in a small bowl. Using a wooden spoon, mix the butter into the egg yolks until combined.
  2. Heat some water in a saucepan that the bowl with the yolks fits comfortably over without touching the water until the water is hand-hot (it should be comfortable to dip your fingers into – if you have the water too hot, the sauce will curdle).
  3. Stand the bowl containing the egg yolk, butter and reduction mixture in the bain marie, and whisk until the egg yolks visibly start to thicken.
  4. Beat the remaining butter into the yolks, a cube at a time, making sure that the sauce has re-thickened before adding the next cube of butter. As more butter is added, the butter can begin to be added more quickly. If the sauce becomes very thick and appears greasy, add a little cool water.
  5. Once all the butter has been added, remove the bowl of sauce from the bain marie, taste it and adjust the seasoning. To achieve a balanced flavour, you may need to add lemon juice, salt and ground white pepper. The sauce can be kept for about 30 minutes before serving, by placing the bowl over the warm bain marie, off the heat.

To fry the crabs:

  1. Once the sauce is made you can fry your crabs; pour the oil into a large, deep cast iron pot and heat until it reaches 175 C – you can use a deep fat fryer if you have one.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir the yolk into the soda water until combined and then pour the mixture over the flour mixture. Using a large fork, gently combine the wet and dry ingredients; the batter should remain slightly lumpy and should have the consistency of double cream – don’t overmix.
  3. Dip 2 crabs into the batter, letting any excess batter drip back into bowl, and carefully place the crabs into the hot oil, top-side down. Fry for 1 1/2 minutes per side, until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels, season with salt and then transfer to a baking sheet, and keep warm in a low oven whilst you dredge and fry the remaining 2 crabs.

To poach your eggs:

  1. Fill a deep pan with water, add 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, and bring it to a light simmer over a medium heat.
  2. Crack one of the eggs into a cup,and using a wooden spoon, make a whirlpool in the pan of water. Quickly and gently pour the egg into the water. Cook for 3 – 3 ½ minutes and then carefully remove from the pan with a slotted spoon. Place straight into a bowl of ice water and repeat with the other eggs.
  3. To warm up the eggs, place them back into the simmering water for 1 minute.

To assemble:

  1. Split the English muffins in half and toast until done to your liking. Butter the halves and place a fried soft shell crab on top of each half. Top with a poached egg and then spoon some of your hollandaise on top. Garnish with some chopped chives and chilli flakes, if needed
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