- Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- 1/4 cup each all-purpose flour and masa harina (use all flour if masa harina is unavailable)
- 1 tsp each salt and cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp water
- 4 cleaned large soft-shell crabs (about 4 oz each)
- 4 small, soft hoagie or hero rolls, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 1/2 cup Tartar Sauce
- 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
- 12 thin slices ripe tomato
- 12 dill pickle slices
- Red-pepper sauce, lemon wedges
- Into large Dutch oven, pour oil to depth of 1 1/2 in. Heat to 375ºF. on deep-fat thermometer.
- On waxed paper, mix flour, masa harina, 1/2 tsp each salt and cayenne. On second sheet, mix cornmeal and remaining salt and cayenne. In small bowl, whisk eggs and water to blend.
- Gently rinse crabs under cold water. Lightly coat with flour mixture. Dip crabs, 1 at a time, into egg; coat in cornmeal mixture.
- With tongs, lower crabs, 2 at a time, into hot oil. Fry 3 to 4 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- Spread each roll half with 1 Tbsp tartar sauce. Scatter 1/2 cup lettuce over bottoms; top each with 3 slices tomato. Top each tomato slice with a pickle slice. Top each with a fried crab and roll top, tartar sauce slide down. Serve with pepper sauce and lemon.
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