Saturday, July 26, 2008
These little buggers were my all time favorite for years then I fell out of the habit of liking them, I think I had too many, but now I'm back after a several year hiatus. They were so popular in the late 80's and early nineties with restaurants selling them then for 18-22 dollars for a plate of two. I am not sure what they go for now.
The soft-shell is the blue crab in its molted state. The molting process means an abundant supply of soft crabs from late spring to early fall, with May through September ranking as the most productive months and Chinatown is well stocked with both hotels (4 - 4 ½ inches) and primes (4 ½ - 5 inches) grade. Today we bought hotels grade to get back in the swing of things. (they were just smaller, and cheaper)
Clean the crabs by removing soft gills under each side of shell. Remove the tail by twisting and pulling off. Remove eyes, mouth and sand bag under mouth with a snip of a scissor. Wash well with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Soak in mixture of egg, milk and salt and pepper. Dip in flour. Fry in deep fat for about 3-5 minutes or until brown. (Remember you eat the WHOLE thing, shell and all)
I like them in a sandwich with a chipotle mayonaise and a slice of tomato.
Chipotle mayonaise is simply a little of your favorite mayonaise with some chipotle peppers mixed in to your degree of hotness.
You can also have them on a mixed green salad or with some smashed root vegetable as a main course with a rémoulade, they are good however you decide to have them. The kid ate two!
Posted by Christo Gonzales at 12:03 AM