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Apr 29, 2014 03:23 PM

Soft shell crabs

The season starts soon. Any suggestions for fresh, soft shell crabs in northern Jersey? For years I got my fix at NY Noodletown in NYC however the place has gone downhill the last few years and I don't get down there that often now anyway. Baked, deep fried ,as long they are tender and tasty.Thanks

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  1. The season has started. I've seen them available in my area. (Monmouth County) I'm pretty sure it was at the Lusty Lobster last weekend.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Herm

      The local season hasn't started, but crabs are molting in the warmer waters further down the 95 corridor. The fresh softies around now are most likely from South Carolina.

      1. re: MGZ

        True, not local, but live. The local comment got me wondering though, local North Jersey soft shells.... I'm thinking Passaic River & Newark Bay glow in the dark softies.........

          1. re: Herm

            Extra glow in the dark flavor.

        1. re: Herm

          Spoke with the fishmonger at Little Silver Seafood on Saturday. He had gotten his first soft-shell crabs this season on Friday, and he plans to get more this Friday. He was buying them for $8 each and selling them for $10 each. He said in Manhattan, they were selling crabs from the same lot/batch for $17 each.

        2. I always thought not to eat them till after Memorial day or it was a waste of money. I dip them in flour S&P then fry them in olive oil and butter. Or throw them on the BBQ naked. Either way they are great and easy to cook.

          3 Replies
          1. re: EL7

            "I always thought not to eat them till after Memorial day or it was a waste of money."

            That's probably not bad advice, since, for most of the year, the only soft crabs around were previously frozen. We'll be taking them from local waters by the beginning of June. In the meantime, there are expensive, fresh, "first of the season" ones being trucked up here - a practice that has really expanded in the past five-ten years.

            1. re: MGZ

              Yeah, anything you're getting now were either frozen from last season, or trucked up from the south. Not fresh enough for good softshells. I prefer them to be alive when I buy them but unfortunately you don't see that often enough these days. I remember the old North American Lobster used to sell live softies.

              1. re: briansnat

                Point Lobster in Point Pleasant usually has 'em available by end of summer/early fall.

          2. Very nice article on St. Eve's (Ho-Ho-Kus) and how Steve Christianson (Chef/Owner) is currently preparing soft shell crabs. St. Eve is an excellent restaurant, and Steve is an excellent chef -- one of the best in Northern NJ in my opinion. Steve founded and opened Cafe Panache, and then went on to open Citrus Grille -- both restaurants achieved excellent reputations, and received numerous accolades and recognition.

            There's also a recipe from Steve...


            1. The Shop-Right in Manasquan/Brielle has had some, from somewhere down south I suppose.


              1. They're available...not widely...rather sparsely...and of course this time of year they can be expensive...

                According to the article, whatever quality soft-shell crabs were around seemed to be coming from FL...and they sold out lightning fast...and then as the weeks went on, and the season really hits, then it becomes the Chesapeake Bay area crabs...

                I am looking forward to trying it at St. Eve