Top 5 Things to do with Soft Shell Crab

Because taming the molting crustacean isn’t as hard as you think


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Top 5 Things to do with Soft Shell Crab

It might look intimidating, and vaguely spider-like, but soft shell crab is just regular old side-strutting Blue Crab that’s been harvested in the brief molting phase (between ditching the old shell and hardening the new one). It’s also a summer favoritejust aching for a pan-fryand surprisingly easy to prepare at home. 

Once they’re in season (from April to October for Gulf states, shorter for colder Chesapeake waters) you can get soft shells from any reliable fish market. Just avoid cellophane-wrapped soft shells, and clean them at home if possiblea bit of a difficult task, to be honest, probably not for the faint of heart. But if you love fresh crab, or just any excuse to fry quality seafood, it’ll be worth it. And then you’ll be ready to try any of these 5 recipes for soft shell crab, or share your own!

Crab image via Shutterstock

Mentioned in this article


  • Why the picture of the ghost crab? I wouldn't want to eat that...

    Apr 15, 2013 at 9:53 PM

  • Snooth User: Emily Bell
    1177900 519

    Is that ghost crab? Apologies, thought it was Blue crab post-molt. But you're absolutely correct!

    Apr 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM

  • Snooth User: mmgill
    1004835 12

    I absolutely agree - not a blue crab...

    Apr 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

  • Snooth User: Emily Bell
    1177900 519

    No I was incorrect, that's right. Maybe we can consider him a mascot for the article. He's probably happy to encourage consumption of Blue crab.

    Apr 16, 2013 at 12:22 PM

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