Approaching the Gulf Coast of Texas, the culinary scene shifts dramatically from barbecue and tex-mex, to an area I lovingly refer to as Texiana.
In this region, fire grilled blue crab and plump stone crab claws, red snapper ceviche, and shrimp diablo fill the tables of hungry Texans and tourists, and IT. IS. DELICIOUS!
I lived in this region for years and still visit my dad frequently on Galveston Island, where we’ll spend the weekend munching bacon wrapped shrimp, and having crab boils on my condo patio.
But despite my love of condo crab boils, one restaurant that always earns our lunch business is T-Bone Tom’s, near Kemah boardwalk…
Tucked into a tiny patch of land right next to the marina, you’ll find a jolly looking red and yellow cafe featuring all sorts of coastal Texan fare, including the BEST THING ON THE MENU, T-bone Tom’s Shark Eggs.
These Shark Eggs are essentially a tasty crab cake (heavy on the crab), stuffed into half a jalapeno, then breaded and deep-fried. They’re served with homemade ranch for dippin!
Why are they called Shark Eggs? Well, there is a favorite Texan dish called Armadillo Eggs which are nearly identical, but are filled with barbecue brisket or pulled pork. The dish is presented deep fried or wrapped in bacon. Although Armadillo Eggs are more well known, they are practically available everywhere. Shark Eggs are unique to this region and I couldn’t wait to recreate a recipe that I could enjoy up here in Dallas.
So let’s get started!
For the crab mixture, I’m mixing up cracker crumbs + cream + and egg as a binder. Then I’m adding fresh crab and imitation crab, along with some seasonings and classic deviled crab ingredients such as pimento and green onion.
Now we’re going to split and scoop out the seeds of a bunch of jalapenos so we can fill them with crab filling for our Shark Eggs…
Scoop about 1/4 c. of filling onto each jalapeno so that it looks like a little egg. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the filling because while we prep up the breading station we’re going to pop these babies into the freezer. The filling will harden and grab onto the jalapenos.
While the filled jalapenos are in the freezer, prepare the breading station. Here we have plain flour, an egg wash, and a plate of panko bread crumbs. I also recommend disposable kitchen gloves for this project because it gets a little messy ahead. They can be found on the grocery aisle with the cleaning supplies.
After freezing for 20-30 minutes, remove each shark egg and take it through the breading station as follows… Flour, Egg, Flour, Egg, Panko. The filling side of the egg is easy to get panko breadcrumbs to stick to, but the slick jalapeno side needs that double dip from flour to egg and back again.
Then place onto a plate and place it back into the freezer while you finish the rest of the breading.
Freeze the jalapenos for a full 30 minutes while you clean up and heat the oil. This is also a good time to mix up my horseradish ranch dressing and place it into the refrigerator to thicken up.
NOTE: These frozen shark eggs can be transferred into a freezer bag and kept in this finished state for up to 2 months. This recipe makes quite a lot of shark eggs so you may want to save some for another meal.
I’ve just brought some FRESH frying oil to about 350 degrees. I fry one shark egg at a time maintaining my oil above 325 degrees. One shark egg takes about 5 minutes. Once you feel comfortable managing the oil between 325-350, you can experiment with frying more than one shark egg at a time. I never fry more than 2-3 at a time because it brings the temperature of the oil down, making the shark eggs greasy. You can use more oil if you like and a bigger pot if you want to speed through the frying time of many shark eggs at once.
Place the shark eggs on a cookie rack so that excess oil can drip away from them, and immediately salt them well with fine ground salt.
And now serve up with some Horseradish Ranch…
NOM YALL. NOM!!!!