Soft crabs are so Baltimore, hon.
You pretty much either love ’em or hate ’em. I used to be completely wigged out by them. I think that having a job cleaning them at a seafood shop might have scarred me a bit. (Thanks, Billy.) My mom has loved them forever. Me, I’ve got texture issues…biting into a soft, yet crunchy LEG of a crab? I’m sorry…what?
Then, I actually ate my first soft crab. My friend did them on the grill…olive oil, salt, pepper and served with a little butter and Old Bay. Honestly, it was one of the best things I’d ever eaten. I was hooked…all in. There are many ways to prepare them, but I really like frying them in a skillet with butter and salt & pepper. I usually add Old Bay, though. Love the stuff. I’m a Baltimore girl.
Those of you who are soft crab holdouts…get yourself to the farmers market, grocery store, or seafood shop and buy some. You can find great simple recipes online if you’re not completely sure what to do with them. Easiest and most traditional, though, is the old pan fry. Here’s how I do it. (Some cooks skip the egg/flour…I often do.)
- Dredge the soft crab in eggs and flour (add Old Bay to the flour)
- In a skillet on medium-high, add butter…then the soft crabs and salt & pepper
- Let them sizzle on one side and turn (be careful that they don’t stick, but don’t turn them too often.)
- They will be done in about 4-5 minutes.
- Put on soft white bread (no healthy bread, please), mayo, Old Bay, tomato (I like quickly sauteed onions sometimes, too.)
And, there you have it. A quick, easy, great early summer meal. It can be a little messy…make sure you’ve got napkins nearby.
Check out Spike Gjerde’s crabwich recipe. Looks good. Real good.
Where have you had good soft crabs? For me, it’s been at Corner BYOB, Hersh’s and PABU.
If you’ve never tried a soft crab, let me make one for you. You will thank me.
(Pictured below: A soft crab sandwich made with soft crabs I traded with a local chef. He got salted caramel brownies and I got soft crabs and fiddleheads. Win-win!)