The Hubby’s Second Birthday Dinner – Appetizer: Sashimi Salad , Main Course: Classic Soft Shell Crabs

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I’ll admit it – I like to spoil my husband and the best way I know how to do that is by cooking his favorite meals. I showed you his first birthday dinner, Blackened Salmon and now I’ve got his second. Why two? Because he had to work on his birthday, both during the day and at night so he really didn’t have time to sit and enjoy a meal. Later in the week he was able to relax and truly enjoy a meal made up of some of his favorites.  He is a seafood lover and living here in beef country it’s not exactly easy to come by the treats he used to enjoy so regularly when we lived at the Jersey shore. This time of year is soft shell crab season; the blue claws shed their hard shells and wait for new ones to grow. They are a delicacy he loves and I would always run to the seafood market and buy them for him when they came into season. I saw that my favorite online purveyor of fish, Anderson Seafoods, had them available so I took myself to the site and bought some for the hubby. I figured since I was treating him for his birthday I would also get him another favorite – ahi tuna. He would be in heaven with this meal!

First up, his appetizer – I shared in this as I love ahi sashimi. It was simple and easy to make and absolutely delicious. This is the second time I’ve purchased ahi from Anderson and it arrives flash frozen. I just thaw it and either slice it thinly or as you will see here, in little chunks.

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Sashimi Salad


Serves 2

6 oz ahi tuna
1 avocado
1 TBS chopped sweet onion
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp tamari
salt to taste

Cut the tuna into bite sized pieces.
Cut the avocado into bite sized pieces.
Chop the onion very finely.

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix gently.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  This can be served over sushi rice and that makes it a dinner!

I gave this to him to eat while I cooked the rest of his dinner. Since I don’t enjoy softshell crabs I had mine over rice as my dinner. He really enjoyed it as I knew he would. I loved mine as well. It was a real treat!
As for his softshells, I didn’t get very fancy with them. I did them in a very classic way – just a cornmeal coating and then a quick fry in canola oil. I have more in the freezer so I’ll experiment later. The purpose of this meal was to A.) make him smile and B.) take him back to Spring at the shore. I think I accomplished that.

Classic Soft shell Crabs


Serves 1

2 soft shell crabs, thawed if necessary
1 egg
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup corn meal
salt and pepper
2 TBS canola oil
1 TBS fresh squeezed lemon juice

For the dipping sauce:

2 TBS mayonnaise
Hot sauce to taste – I added about 5 shakes
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

The soft shells from Anderson arrived all cleaned which made me happy. I have cleaned them before but I must admit it’s nicer when you don’t have to. If you have soft shells that need cleaning HERE is a video you can watch.

Pat the crabs dry; if the big claws fall off don’t worry. It happens. Mine did. I just breaded them separately and cooked them.  Add a little bit of water to the egg and whisk it well with a fork. Mix the flour and cornmeal together on a plate and add a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Heat a fry pan large enough to hold both crabs over med-high heat. When it’s hot add the canola oil. Carefully place the crabs in the hot oil. Let the crabs cook for about 3 minutes and then carefully turn them over. They should be nicely browned. Let them cook for another 3 – 4 minutes until they are cooked through and browned on the other side. Just before serving drizzle the fresh lemon juice over the tops of the crabs.

While the crabs are cooking make the dipping sauce:  mix the mayonnaise, hot sauce and lemon juice and whisk together until smooth. Taste and adjust flavor for heat or salt, etc.

I served the crunchy crabs with some sushi rice and pickled carrots. The hubby loves my pickled carrots. There wasn’t a crumb left on his plate so I know he enjoyed his second birthday dinner. That made ME smile!

He said that the crabs tasted as if they had been fresh. That is what I love about everything I get from Anderson – it never tastes like it has been thawed. Every piece of fish or seafood I have had from them tastes like it had just been caught. I am happy to spend my money there.  Seafood is a real treat for us so when I splurge I want it to be GOOD.

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