I purchased some Soft-Shell Crabs today which I will prepare for dinner tonight, and of course feature as a recipe later tonight or early tomorrow. I only buy soft-shells fresh when they’re in season, I don’t believe in frozen soft-shells personally, it leaves me something to look forward to in the spring.
Soft-Shell Crabs are not a different species of crab as some may believe but simply a Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, which has molted. Like many other crustaceans, crabs outgrow their shells and grow new ones. The prime soft-shells are called busters, as they have just busted from their shells and are at peak softness. Not long after the crabs have busted from their shells, the new shells will start to form and have more of a leathery texture.
Soft-shells can be fried, sauteed, broiled, grilled, you name it. Later I will share one of my favorite ways to prepare and serve them, I’m really looking forward to it.
Soft-shell crabs should not be cleaned until shortly before you’re ready to cook them as they will spoil faster.
To clean a Soft-Shell Crab cut off the eyes and nose portion of the front of the crab with kitchen shears. Next, lift the corners of the top shell and remove the inedible gills. Lastly, turn the crab over and remove the Apron which is a soft way of saying the genitals. Sorry, but it is what it is…just remove it.
Your soft-shells are now ready to be cooked, and so are mine…until later today.
Update – Here is my recipe for Fried Soft-Shell Crabs with Creole Choron Sauce.
Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which features all of the recipes featured on this site.