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soft shell crab

a
acd123 Apr 28, 2010 02:08 PM

Sorry, I know I write this post every year around this time, but I have to do it again.

Anyone know if any restos are doing soft shell crab using crabs that were never frozen? I think they're in season now.

  1. pinstripeprincess Apr 28, 2010 02:32 PM

    last year i got my fix at ematei and taro's (not a restaurant as i'm sure you know). ematei was charging $15 and taro's only $9. i'm planning on making a trip to taro's once i call to confirm it's in and available.

    i suspect that with a bent towards local and many of the trendier places sourcing seafood from the same place... it might be hard to find restos offering the soft shell crab because their distributors might not catch any.

    1. Charles Yu Apr 28, 2010 04:36 PM

      Get some fresh ones from either SLM, Diana's seafood or Taro fish.

      Pat them dry with paper towels, lightly dust them in flour, dip them in egg wash then coat them in corn meal or panko. Shallow fry them in butter! Yum!!!

      Could taste even better than restos version!

      2 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu
        a
        acd123 Apr 29, 2010 06:55 AM

        I have no problem with boiling live lobster, crab or spot prawns, but I still can't bring myself to cut the face off a living soft shell crab :-)

        So, I'll stick to getting them in restaurants.

        1. re: Charles Yu
          a
          acd123 Apr 29, 2010 10:44 AM

          By the way, I called Diana's last year and they told me that they only sell whole boxes. Each has about 36 crabs. A bit too much for me :-)

        2. c
          childofthestorm Apr 28, 2010 05:21 PM

          Bill's Lobster is going to call me when he gets them in and I will be sure to post here. I use Charles's method, with a splash of Old Bay seasoning in the panko.

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          Bill's Lobster
          599 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

          1 Reply
          1. re: childofthestorm
            Charles Yu Apr 28, 2010 06:34 PM

            Addition of some 'Old Bay Seasoning' - Great idea! Have to try it!

          2. c
            childofthestorm Apr 29, 2010 08:20 AM

            Bill just called me, he'll have softshell crabs in tomorrow, big ones too. I just reserved a couple. And yeah cutting their faces off does kind of bug me. I get over it once I'm eating, though.

            8 Replies
            1. re: childofthestorm
              a
              acd123 Apr 29, 2010 08:39 AM

              Is it okay to have Bill dress them so I can cook them right when I get home? I know they have to be cooked right after they are cleaned.

              1. re: acd123
                c
                childofthestorm Apr 29, 2010 09:25 AM

                Yes absolutely as long as you are using them right away, I am planning to do the same. He'll even give you a bag of crushed ice to keep them cold on the drive home.

                I would call the store now, he might very well be reserving the whole shipment ahead of time. The first batch of the season, everyone is waiting for them...

                1. re: childofthestorm
                  foodyDudey Apr 29, 2010 01:38 PM

                  Yup, crabfest on Friday evening. I'm getting a few snowcrabs in addition to the soft shell crabs.

                  1. re: foodyDudey
                    a
                    acd123 Apr 29, 2010 02:10 PM

                    I assume the snow crab legs are frozen?

                    1. re: acd123
                      foodyDudey Apr 29, 2010 02:14 PM

                      Live crabs, about 1.5 lbs each. $8.99 /lb

                      1. re: foodyDudey
                        a
                        acd123 Apr 29, 2010 02:29 PM

                        Where are you getting live snow crab??? Sounds great. I bought some right off the dock in Chetticamp in Cape Breton, summer of 2008, and haven't had live ones since then.

                        1. re: acd123
                          foodyDudey Apr 29, 2010 02:33 PM

                          The live snow crabs are from Bill's Lobster on Gerrard St. They arrive on Friday.

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                          Bill's Lobster
                          599 Gerrard St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA

              2. re: childofthestorm
                v
                vivo Apr 29, 2010 02:30 PM

                My deepest gratitude for sharing this information! I was just wondering if the crabs were ready yet...
                I guess Bill's will be inundated tomorrow with soft shell crab fans! Woohoo!

              3. j
                JennaBean Apr 29, 2010 09:32 AM

                Acd123 - I hear you on the not wanting to kill a live crab but I killed my first one this past weekend (blue shell not soft shell but nonetheless alive) and it wasn't anywhere near as bad and I thought it was going to be!

                I wouldn't have done it if my chef bf wasn't cheering me on but now that I've done it I would suggest that you try it at least once.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JennaBean
                  a
                  acd123 Apr 29, 2010 09:56 AM

                  You cut off the face and pulled off the gills and apron? Was it squirming in your hands :-) ?

                  1. re: acd123
                    j
                    JennaBean Apr 29, 2010 03:52 PM

                    To help limit the squirming I put it in the freezer first! For whatever reason it makes them MUCH less active but yes, they do squirm.

                2. c
                  childofthestorm Apr 30, 2010 05:52 PM

                  Got mine at Bill's today - apparently they were only taking reservations for this batch, and I wonder if what's going on with the oil spill in the Gulf is going to affect things this year (and for maybe years to come). Planning on eating softshells every chance I get.

                  Anyway, I fried them up and had them as a po-boy in honour of New Orleans. Delicious.

                  Oh and according to Bill's, BC spot prawns will be showing up "any day." I'm on their call list for that too!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: childofthestorm
                    Charles Yu Apr 30, 2010 06:37 PM

                    BC spot prawns already available at Warden/Steeles T&T last week!

                    1. re: Charles Yu
                      c
                      childofthestorm Apr 30, 2010 06:43 PM

                      Yeahhhh but I live two minutes away from Bill's. Warden & Steeles = far. I will go check the T&T on Cherry St. this weekend though, thanks!

                  2. c
                    cookiebaker Apr 30, 2010 09:08 PM

                    Rodney's Oyster House has soft shell crab. I had one for dinner tonight, coated with buttermilk and panko, then deep fried. Delicious!

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                    Rodney's Oyster House
                    469 King St W, Toronto, ON M5V1K4, CA

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: cookiebaker
                      j
                      juno May 1, 2010 07:05 AM

                      Because I'm too lazy to cook them myself, and for sure too timid to cut off the faces of the poor little things, I'm still waiting patiently - like the OP - to discover from the soft shell crab cognoscenti on this thread where I can partake of fresh soft shell crab in a restaurant setting. Rodney's is a start - thank you, cookiebaker, for staying on topic - and I'll travel there if I have to, but would prefer some place further uptown. C'mon now, surely you're all not saving the names of these places for yourself! Cough up. There's only a two- to three-week window to enjoy these things. I am a desperate man.

                      1. re: juno
                        TorontoJo May 1, 2010 09:23 AM

                        Hey juno, I wonder if you gave Zee Grill a call, whether they'd be willing to buy and prep some for you? Maybe talk to the chef, who always seems so nice (once gave a friend of mine a container of his seaweed salad after she told him how much she loved it).

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                        Zee Grill
                        641 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                        1. re: juno
                          pinstripeprincess May 1, 2010 01:58 PM

                          ematei isn't a restaurant?

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess
                            j
                            juno May 1, 2010 02:30 PM

                            Ematei is indeed a restaurant, but as pinstripeprincess pointed out in her original response, it was last year that she enjoyed soft shell crab there. And this year? I suppose I'll have to phone the place to get the latest on the soft shell crab situation. Still, given the traffic nowadays, I was hoping for something a little more uptown. Zee Grill is a long shot. The chef may be a nice guy, but asking him to go off menu for little old me, may be pushing his good humor to extremes - especially on a busy night, which seems to be every night. Still, it's a thought if I'm desperate enough (and I am). As for the hot new spot at Av and Dav, praised by Joanne Kates in today' s Globe, it looks like it'll be weeks before I can fight my way through the crowds to get inside, by which time soft-shell-crab time will have come and gone. Surely there are other joints awaiting me with fresh soft shell crab on the menu. But where?

                            -----
                            Ematei
                            30 Saint Patrick St, Toronto, ON M5T3A3, CA

                            Zee Grill
                            641 Mt Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S, CA

                      2. Flexitarian May 1, 2010 10:08 AM

                        Joanne Kates reports in her review of Malena today that she's been eating the best soft shell crabs in years there:

                        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                        1. c
                          caviartothegeneral May 2, 2010 09:45 AM

                          Nota Bene is currently selling an appetizer of soft shell crab and glass noodles.

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                          Nota Bene
                          180 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5V 2A1, CA

                          1. p
                            phoenikia May 5, 2010 08:41 AM

                            Buca had soft-shell crab on the menu last night.

                            As Flexitarian mentioned, soft-shell crab is also currently on Malena's menu. When I was there, you could order the soft-shell crab as a 1st course, or add one to your main or fritto misto for $10.

                            I ordered soft-shell crab at Starfish when they were in season a couple years ago, as a daily special. I would think Starfish might be offering them as a special right now.

                            -----
                            Starfish
                            100 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K9, CA

                            Buca
                            604 King St. West, Toronto, ON M5V 1M6, CA

                            1. s
                              sman May 5, 2010 10:59 AM

                              Splendido had soft-shell crab on the menu as an appetizer when I was there Monday night.

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                              Splendido
                              88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

                              1. shekamoo May 5, 2010 06:50 PM

                                had one whole soft shell crab at Malena tonight, as a side to the fritto misto. both very well done

                                1. j
                                  JennaBean May 6, 2010 06:43 AM

                                  Mercatto has a soft shell panni on the menu right now!

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                                  Mercatto
                                  15 Toronto Street, Toronto, ON M5C 2E3, CA

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