Number 92: Soft Shell Crab

26 Jun

This post begins what I’m calling “Kathryn’s Seafood Mania,” a week of creatures of the deep!  What spurred this seafood feast?  A $10 for $20 LivingSocial deal to Burhop’s Seafood Market was the culprit.  I walked into that place not knowing a damn thing.  I knew I had to get soft shell crab, but what to do with it or how to eat it…that was a different story.

I walked up to the counter and the first thing I said was, “Soooo, if I was to buy one of those soft shell crabs, what exactly would I do with it?”  The guy responds “Well, first you clean it…”  The look on my face when he said that made him quickly respond with “we can clean it for you.”  Good man, that fishmonger.  After that, he told me how to cook it and I headed home with a single crab (and many other goodies that I’ll tell you about later this week.)

When I unwrapped the crab and picked it up, I had a minor freakout simply because I thought it looked like a giant spider. After that, I was fine.  I was shocked at how soft the crab was, then quickly realized that’s why they’re called soft shell crabs.  Moron.  Following the fish man’s directions, I dredged the crab in flour, melted some butter in a pan, and threw it in.

I read about some other, more complicated ways to prepare soft shell crab, but I really didn’t want to take away from the flavor of the crab, especially as I’d never eaten soft shell crab before (aside from in sushi).  I cooked it for about 4 minutes on each side, and when it was done, I added some salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.  Then, it was time to eat!

It took me a few minutes of searching on the internet to figure out how to eat soft shell crab.  Luckily, the instructions weren’t difficult: just eat the thing.  Shell, legs, and all.   I could handle that.


This one was a winner, for sure.  Crispy and buttery on the outside, but tender and flaky on the inside, I literally ate the whole thing in less than one minute (no joke).  It wasn’t fishy in flavor and the squeeze of lemon gave it the perfect tang.  I’m regretting only buying one of these now, and I’m seriously considering driving the 30 minutes back to the fish market to get more!  Mmm.


10 Responses to “Number 92: Soft Shell Crab”

  1. Vicky June 27, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    Thanks again for a great post! You’re inspiring me to be more inventive with my cooking. This looks great!

  2. IntenseGuy June 27, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    You know, I eat just about any form of seafood – raw oysters – mussels, octapus legs, crabmeat – you peel crabs – but I can’t never get around how a soft shell crab looks. Fortunately, mushrooms stuffed with crabmeat… fish stuffed with crabmeat… and plain old crab cakes exist for me!!

  3. Laura in Cancun June 27, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    I love crab, but it’s so hard to eat because of the hardness… this sounds like the perfect solution!

  4. Monique June 27, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Really?! You eat the shell and the legs and the little pinchers?!?! That’s crazytalk!

    But I do love crab, so maybe it’s not so crazy 🙂

  5. Miss Angie June 27, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Whoa. I’m a little shocked that you eat it shell and all, and that it was even good with those things. I may have to try this….

    I am hungry for seafood now though…

  6. Big Onion June 27, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    Too bad you didn’t get this while you were in NOLA (and too bad you left before we discovered each other’s blogs!) since this is a pretty common thing. I’m not much of a fan. The idea of eating the whole thing kinda creeps me out a bit.

    Actually, I find it amusing that quite a few things on that list are easy to obtain down here! I wonder if the person who came up with it was a southerner …

    • Kathryn July 1, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      The guy who created it was actually a Brit, believe it or not!

  7. Sophia @ Raven Waves June 28, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Groupons and Living Socials are the way to go for these foods, if you can!! And fishmonger…wow. Haven’t heard that word since high school Shakespeare. If there’s any type of food you think I could find for you in Las Vegas, let me know and I’ll bring back! 🙂

  8. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic December 29, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    I’m a Maryland girl born and raised and I have never eaten a soft shell crab… crazy right? But I’m really anxious to try one this summer when I’m home. They are great on a sandwich which is what I’m told – I would think that might be the only way I could handle eating one [when I pick crabs I have to face their eyes away from me… ] 😉


  1. Number 94: Catfish | OMNIVORE100PROJECT - July 11, 2011

    […] said about that the better…Anyways, the catfish was from Burhop’s Seafood Market that I talked about a couple weeks ago.  They had frozen cornbread-crusted catfish fillets with jalapenos and I grabbed ‘em like […]

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