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Feeling Crabby: All About Soft-Shell Crabs

a pile of fries

Soft shell crabs are commonly served across dinner tables during summer but we enjoy them year-round. From cooking methods to tips to recipe ideas and more here’s everything you need to know about soft-shell crabs!

What are they?

Soft-shell crab is a culinary term for crabs that have recently molted their old exoskeleton and are still soft. Soft-shells are removed from the water as soon as they molt to prevent any hardening of their shell. This means that almost the entire animal can be eaten, rather than having to shell the animal to reach the meat. The exceptions are the mouthparts, the gills and the abdominal cover, which, though edible when shells are very soft, are usually discarded ("cleaned"). The remaining, edible part of the crab is typically deep fried or sautéed.

Are there different sizes?

Yes! There are five different sizes that soft shell crabs come in. We have Maryland Soft Shell Crabs available in size Prime (aka medium...4.5 - 5 inches on average) available in a pack of 2. You can shop them here. Or We also have perfectly seasoned pan-sauteed soft-shell crab when in season available in a pack of 2. You can shop them h ere.

Where do Pescatore Soft-Shell Crabs Come From?

Our soft-shell crabs come from a company called Southern Connection in Crisfield, Maryland, and have been for over 20 years. They harvest at night and ship to us by 4 am - Fresher crabs I am not sure are possible. We have decided the only way to do Overnight Crabs and not upset y'all is to dress them - this is a fancy word for Clean em! So that's what we do. The second we get them, and we make sure they are jumping we clean them perfectly, and wrap and pack. It JUST MAKES SENSE!

How should they be prepared?

When in season, our seasoned pan-sauteed soft-shell crabs are already prepared and ready to be heated up and served. Otherwise, our delicious Maryland Soft Shell Crabs can be prepared the following way recommended by our very own Chef Adam

Do as little as possible to this perfect moral 1. crabs, 2.flour of your liking, 3.egg,4. panko (we carry), 5. S&P, 6.Herbs Saute in 50/50 olive oil and butter - - I like this combo, let me know if you do too!

Good ingredients yield awesome meals- -

Standard breading - Flour, Egg, Panko in that order - lol no measurements because we are all pros - right? Season the flour and eggs with your salt, pepper, and herbs for easy distribution to the crabs

Add the oil and butter to your pan, we are sauteing not deep fat frying so about 1/8th inch, heat up til the back of a wooden spoon bubbles

Saute 3/4 min each side till golden and finish in a 350-degree oven about 8/10 minutes - yum

Serve with any one of our sauces - I like the Mustard or Yogurt Dill depending on my mood with a splash of Tabasco!

Sources:

https://books.google.com/books?id=tebVnrkiLvoC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summ ary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false