Falafel-Spiced Soft Shell Crab Lettuce Wraps


  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
  • 4 egg whites, beaten
  • Neutral oil, as needed
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 2 small heads of baby bibb lettuce
  • Tahini sauce, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Zhoug, recipe follows


Mix chickpea flour, cumin, chili flakes and salt together. Dip crabs in egg whites and then dry ingredients. Place in saute pan heated with oil, shell side down, for 4 minutes per side. Transfer to sheet pan lined with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

Separate bibb lettuce leaves into cups using two leaves. Drizzle with tahini, add crab, herbs and drizzle with zhoug. Makes 2 servings.

To make tahini sauce: Blend 1 cup tahini with ½ cup water, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 minced garlic clove and ½ tablespoon salt.

To make zhoug: Puree 2 bunches cilantro, 2 cloves garlic, 1 jalapeno and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom until smooth. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja, Shuka, New York