How to Cook Soft Shell Crabs


When it comes to eating seafood, and more specifically shellfish, soft shell crab is one of the tastiest things on the menu. The sweet taste of the meat mixes with the saltiness of the shell, giving each bite a burst of wonderful flavor. Here's how to cook soft shell crabs next time you are expecting friends and family for a gathering.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft shell crabs
  • Sauté pan
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Mixing bowl
  • Side plate
  • Place a slab of butter in your sauté pan over a low to medium flame and let it liquefy. Then, pick up the pan and roll the butter around so that it coats the entire bottom.

  • Dust your soft shell crabs with just a hint of flour. While the butter is liquefying, place a small amount of flour in a bowl. Dunk the soft shell crabs into the bowl so that they are completely covered in flour. Now this doesn't mean that the flour coating should be thick, just covering the entire crab. Set these aside on a plate when you have finished dusting.

  • Sear the soft shell crabs in your pan. It's advisable to place the top of the crab down first in the pan. This is because this will be the presentation side. Getting a nice flour crust on top is a lot easier then dealing with the legs and other bits on the bottom of the soft shell crabs.

  • Allow the soft shell crabs to sizzle in the skillet for a couple of minutes. Cooking time will vary, depending on weight and how hot the "medium" flame is on your stove. But in general, they should just take a few minutes on each side. Like shrimp or lobster, look for the shell to turn a bright pink or red. When that has completely occurred over the entire soft shell crab, then it is ready to serve.

Tips & Warnings

  • Another popular variation of cooking soft shell crabs is to dust the crabs in flour, then into a milk and egg wash, and then follow with a seafood breading. This will give a slightly heavier "fried" taste to your soft shell crabs.
  • Wearing rubber gloves will help you avoid leaving fingerprints on the soft shell crabs after you dust them in flour and are transferring them to the pan.
  • Before cooking your soft shell crabs, make sure you give them a good rinse with water and a pat dry with a paper towel.

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