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Soft Shell Crabs

The season has begun. What is your favorite preparation? Tonight I am making them soaked in buttermilk and egg and then cornmeal crusted with a spicy cilantro lime tartar sauce http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/rec...

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  1. I just returned from the fish store and bought a few as well. Came on here to see what everyone else does with them. I only order these out; have never made them at home for some reason. Your recipe sounds good, but I don't have most of the ingredients to make that particular one. Just looking for something simple. Think I will check out epicurious as well.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mschow

      I like to combine white wine, butter, fresh sage leaves, lemon slices, salt and coarse pepper in a hevay saute pan and once the liquid is simmering, add the crabs with no flour on them. I find they come out so delicate this way.

      OR white wine, lemon, and capers makes a nice saute for the crabs.

    2. Made this recipe:
      Really delicious, fast, and easy. I did not use clarified butter as I had none on hand. Used 2 T salted butter and equal amount of light olive oil in non stick skillet.

      1. I just dip 'em in Wondra flour and sautee in clarified butter. A squeeze of lemon and I'm done.

        1. If someone has never had them and is a bit squimish about eating the entire crab, but is willing to try them - what is the best way for a beginer to experience them? It is for my girlfriend and she won't eat deep fried foods.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jmax

            Go to a good sushi place and order "Spider Rolls." You get some of the tasty fried crab rolled in rice.

          2. Ah, I count myself fortunate to live in a part of the country where softshells are available nearly year-round. My absolute favorite is deep fried, slathered with homemade mayo & creole mustard, and wrapped in Lendenheimer's french bread. A close second is basted with butter, thyme, pepper, and grilled until crispy.

            1. So I am confused! In one recipe, it says to soak the crabs in buttermilk mixture for 1hr the other says 5 minutes!! Does it matter or effect the final product how long you soak the crabs? It seems weird to me as I think of crab shells as being impermeable, thus useless to marinate.

              2 Replies
              1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                I made this recipe. However, I soaked the crabs for about an hour, not the 5 minutes the recipe called for. The only reason I soaked them for an hour was that I got busy and didn't get into the kitchen as quickly as I thought I would. Other recipes I saw on the internet varied in the amount of time to soak the crabs, so I was not worried about the extra soaking time. Just drain them really well before flouring. Also, I did not have clarified butter, so I used salted butter and some light olive oil to cook them in. Still really delicious, even with that minor change.

                1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                  I just put mine in the egg and buttermilk and refrigerated them until I was ready to fry. They may have beeen in there 2-3 hours.

                2. Do you actually "soak" the crabs, or just dip? I've never soaked them and wonder what the process would add.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pikawicca

                    I soak the crabs before frying if the crabs are defrosted/frozen. I don't soak fresh crabs.