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Saturday, July 26, 2008

soft shell crabs



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!

16 comments:

Harmony said...

Okay...I am not big on seafood. I know, I know it's awful and unheard of. But I have recently started trying new things, just checking in every now and then to see if my palate has evolved or not. I tried some sushi not that long ago...and liked it, so who knows I could like soft shell crab.

Joy said...

You eat the shells, too? I thought there were some pockets of poison that had to be removed from crabs. Those look good.

Dave said...

Ah yes, the awesomeness that is softshell crabs. Delicious.

akakarma said...

I'm allergic, sigh! But I love Lobster! Not the guts tho- I'm a squeamish gal!

Dana said...

I see I'm not the only one who can't eat these! It's the only shellfish I have a problem with - I blow up like a balloon!

Dragonfly Dreaming said...

Right now I am hooked on wasabi mayo. I will eat it with everything. This looks good, but I don't know about the shell thing...I don't know if I could handle the thought of eating the shell...

deb said...

box two up and send em' on over.;)

Zen Chef said...

I didn't have one of these in a while too. I think i'm ready for it. I had a delicious one in Chinatown Noodle town once. Hmm! Should i plan my week end around soft shell crabs?

Anette said...

Looks good, (everything you show us seems to do)
but I'm not a crab(by) girl. Do they taste the same as our brown big salt water crabs do you think?

Spin said...

I think I gained two pounds just looking at those crabs! Yum yum!

buffalodickdy said...

Nice! I had them once, and I swear the shell had grown back on them before served...

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I could even find the mouth on a crab...

Michelle said...

I've never had soft shell crab. I don't think I've ever seen blue crab. We go to the Oregon coast and crab for Dungeness crab. Last fall we brought home about 50 of them. Its great fun dumpster diving for the halibut and salmon heads to use as bait!

Emiline said...

Yum yum yum. Looks great!

TavoLini said...

oh I love these in sushi!

Tanya Kristine said...

um. don't you have to shell them first?

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