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fried soft-shell crabs

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do they fry soft-shell with the shells on? and also are supposed to eat these shells?

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  1. Yes, they are cooked with the "shells on" and the shells are eaten. After the crabs molt in the spring (or shed their hard shells) what is left covering them is a soft membrane which will harden to protect them after a time. It is before this hardening process when it's called a soft-shell. Delicous sauteed or lighly dusted with flour or panko crumbs and pan fried. Serve with tartar sauce and/or lemon. They're also called peepers, busters, and peelers (I read that somewhere). pat