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Giving soft shell crabs another shot, where to go?

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A few years ago I wanted to give soft shell crabs a shot in NYC and had them in a spider roll. However, I noticed that it wasn't exactly the "potato chip-like" shell people were telling me it was. Instead it seemed like a softer, chewy version of the shell normally there. Eating an unpeeled shrimp is what I would compare it to. Could this be due to the place I went or is this how soft-shells normally are? I'm willing to give them another go in the DC area and am wondering what places to I should try.

Any advice is appreciated

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  1. I've never had soft shell crabs like that. Go to Full Kee (cantonese) or Nam Viet (vietnamese). Both places will be inexpensive and tasty.

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    Full Kee Restaurant
    509 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001

    Nam Viet Restaurant
    3419 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., washington, dc, DC 20008

    1. The "older " a soft crab gets the harder the new shell gets, a good soft crab has a lttle resistance to a bite, but shouldn't have a shrimp shell crunch, sounds like you got a "paper shell". I have never, never had a soft crab in a restaurant setting that was better then those I can make at home.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hue

        Like Hue said I always think soft shell crabs come out better when I make them at home.

      2. It's been years since I've gone, but Thompson's Seafood Corner on Rt 5 South of DC does a good job. Then get their crabcakes for broiling at home.

        1. I have had good preparations at Dino, Central and Corduroy in the past. I had them a month or so ago at Willow, but don't think they are still on their menu.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ktmoomau

            Second Dino and Corduroy, and add BlackSalt.

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            BlackSalt
            4883 MacArthur Blvd., Washington, DC 20007

          2. A lot of the crunch is related to the preparation. If you eat soft shells that are floured and sauteed, then the crunch is going to be more pronounced than if the soft shells are served with a sauce poured over. The contact with the liquid in the sauce reduces the crunch. That said, I really don't agree with the potato chip comparison. Soft shells just aren't that crunchy.