How to Eat Soft Shell Crab

Where can you buy soft shell crab, and how the heck do you eat them?

Devoted fans swear that soft shell crab is a delicious delicacy that everyone should enjoy, preferably as often as possible. But for crab newbies, or for those who have only sampled this tasty treat in restaurants, figuring out where to buy soft shell crab and how the heck to prepare them can be overwhelming. 

What are soft shell crabs?

In North American, most crabs sold are blue crabs.

Soft shell crabs are simply hard shell crabs that have shed their hard shell! 

As a crab grows larger, it gets rid of its external exoskeleton. When its ready, it busts triumphantly out of the hard shell and wriggles free, larger and much softer. Almost immediately, the shell begins to harden again.

Soft shell crabs are simply harvested before the shell can harden.  When harvested at just the right time, the briny, sweet, delicious meat is easily accessible. Rather than struggling to extract tiny pieces of meat from a hard shell, popping the entire soft shell into your mouth gives you every last bite of tasty meat. The soft shell provides the slightest crunch in a satisfying contrast to the tender meat.  

It may seem strange to eat the entire thing, shell, claws, and all – but the taste is WELL worth getting over any squeamishness. (Seriously, get over it. You will thank yourself later.)

Where can you buy soft shell crab?

Obviously, timing is incredibly important when harvesting soft shell crabs. 

If you are purchasing crab fresh from a local fishmonger, be sure to clean and cook the crab the same day you bring it home. 

If you prefer not to clean the crab yourself (because, let’s be honest, cutting away innards and scooping out bits is just not overly pleasant), it is best to purchase frozen from a reputable seller (such as, you know… us.)

In fact, Farm 2 Fork’s soft shell blue crabs are wild caught and naturally molted at the optimal timing for the best taste, cleaned, frozen, and ready to cook!

How should soft shell crabs be prepared?

Once you have purchased your crab, what now? 

If you have purchased fresh crab, you will need to clean and prep before cooking. If you have purchased frozen, the crabs should be ready to cook. (Bonus!)

To let crab meat shine, soft shell crabs are best prepared simply

  • Dredged in seasoned buttermilk and flour and pan fried until crispy
  • On fluffy white bread, served with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and tartar sauce
  • Broiled and seasoned with lemon and parsley

Try these tasty, but simple, variations

Even if you have never cooked soft shell crab before, if you buy quality crab and keep it simple, you will be able to enjoy a restaurant-quality taste experience at home! (And wow the heck out of your seafood-loving dinner guests.)

Buy Soft Shell Crab Online

Surprise and delight at your dinner table with this unique wild-caught delicacy! Naturally-molted soft shell crabs are so tender and bursting with sweet, juicy flavour, that you can eat them with the shell!

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