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Soft Shelled Crab Hand Roll

  • Yield: 4 hand-rolls


  • 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
  • 4 sheets toasted seaweed (YAKINORI)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into thin batons
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
  • 1/2 cup baby cress
  • 1 tempura-fried soft shelled crab, cut into 8 pieces
  • 4 large softshell crabs
  • Essence
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold soda water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 3/4 cups japanese rice, such as Nishiki (or 5 rice maker cups)
  • 3 3/4 cups water (or 5 rice maker cups)
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • In a small bowl combine mayo, mustard, soy sauce, lemon juice and horseradish and stir to combine well. Set aside.
  • Hold one sheet of seaweed in your hand and with the other hand (fingers should be damp) scoop a small handful of rice and press onto seaweed, leaving 2 of the diagonal corners free of rice (these will be the top and bottom of the handroll). Lay 2 pieces of soft shell crab, several slices of avocado, and some of the cucumber on top of the rice, and sprinkle with scallions and baby cress. Carefully begin rolling the roll, ice cream cone-fashion. If the roll does not stay closed on its own, you can either wet one edge or place a few stray pieces of rice to act as a “glue”. Serve immediately, with some of the sauce spooned over the top. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  • TEMPURA SOFTSHELL CRABS: Preheat the deep-fat fryer. For the salad: In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
  • For the softshells: To clean, remove the tail, gills, and eyes. Season with salt and pepper. For the tempura batter: Whisk all the ingredients resulting in a smooth batter. Season with salt and pepper. Dip the softshell into the tempura batter, shaking off any excess. Remove the basket from the fryer. First, carefully holding the top of the softshell, drag the legs through the oil first, for 1 minute. This will allow the individual legs to fry separately instead together. Then lay the softshell, top side down, into the oil. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden, flip the softshell over and continue frying for additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from the fryer and allow to drain on a paper-lined plate.
  • MITSUKO’S PERFECT SUSHI RICE: In a large bowl, add rice and cover with lots of water. Stir rice in water with your hands, then pour off most of the water and agitate 10 to 15 times by quickly moving your hand back and forth, swishing rice against side of bowl. Rinse rice several more times, until water that drains off of the rice is almost clear. Transfer rice to a colander, and let drain for 1 hour, undisturbed. Transfer rice to a rice cooker, add the water, cover and cook as directed by manufacturer’s directions.
  • While the rice is cooking, in a small saucepan bring rice vinegar to a boil then remove from heat. Add sugar and salt and stir until dissolved. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  • When rice is done, allow cooked rice to remain in rice cooker for 10 minutes. Transfer rice to a large shallow mixing bowl (traditionally a wooden tub, called a hangiri), so that rice forms a mound in the center of the bowl. Using a diagonal slicing motion, gently cut into rice with a wooden paddle (called a kijakushi), and pour cooled vinegar mixture over top of rice. “Cut” rice several times to evenly distribute vinegar mixture, then allow to cool. Gently turn rice over from time to time with paddle so that rice cools evenly.You might want to consider using a fan if time is of the essence. When rice has cooled to body temperature, it is ready to use for sushi rolls. Rice can be kept at the proper temperature by placing it in an insulated container such as a small ice chest, covered with a damp kitchen towel.
  • Yield: enough rice for at least 7 large rolls (Futomaki)