soft shell crab

Joined Apr 3, 2006
So I bought some soft-shell crabs (frozen, in a box) from a japanese shop the other day.  Never cooked them before, so I was thinking of doing something with it tomorrow.  I'm thinking of just dusting them with seasoned flour & panko & deep frying them for a start.  Any tips / recipes on different ways to cook them?
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Joined Apr 3, 2010
Don't know what state they are in, as I have never used frozen . If they are cleaned etc.  If not use large sissors remove tail, cut across front and remove eyes, turn over flip up both ends(called wings) and remove transparent cartalege.  I pan fry mine dipping in seasoned flour. You could use crumbs or not  up to you.

PS/ Some chefs leave eyes in,my clustomers  do not want them looking at them?
Joined Aug 11, 2000
fried is great, sauteed is great too....crab on crab, buy claw or lump meat and serve ontop of the fried/sauteed soft shell.  remoulade is a natural with it.

mayo, coarse mustard, worchester (sp?), scallions, tabasco (or like sauce), possibly hit of garlic

+you could also add a touch of tomato to the remoulade, I don't but you could.
Joined Aug 25, 2009
 a quick roll in cornmeal is another thought.

I agree with Ed, eyes off./img/vbsmilies/smilies/eek.gif

Alot of sauces out there, oyster sauce, I must try that.

Remoulade is popular

Capers and brown butter

green garlic and lemon soy

sweet Thai dip

lemon and saffron

Creole charon sauce
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Well since they came from a Japanese supermarket...

Japanese style is also nice.

Use a tempura batter rather than a breading before deep frying.  Serve with ponzu as a dipping sauce or better still, granish with mitsume (thick "eel sauce"). 

Ponzu Recipe


1/2 cup good soy sauce

1/3 cup uzu (Japanese citrus juice)

1/4 cup dashi

2 tbs (white) rice vinegar


Combine.  Serve.

Mitsume Recipe


1/2 cup good soy sauce

1/2 cup dashi

1/2 cup mirin

1/2 cup sugar


Combine all in a small pan.  Set over a low flame and slowly reduce to a nappe consistency, roughly a 60% reduction.  Remove from fire and allow to cool.  Note that sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.    

Oishi desu,

Joined Jun 21, 2010
we use them alot in the summer , cajun grilled, sauteed scampi style or add capers make a picatta,season flour with old bay seafood spice and pan fry them .......i like the sushi idea above from morethangourmet, my favorite way to have them is egg wash flour and right into the deep fryer, we run then that way in a sandwich also on grilled challah bread w/pickapapper mayo,lettuce and tomato simple but really good
Joined Jun 22, 2010
I used to work on the Maryland Eastern shore and have cooked and served literally thousands of SS crabs..I tried using frozen crabs once. It was horrible. I have never used frozen ones since. I would make sure you taste one before you serve them to guests. 
Joined Mar 6, 2012
I am a fan of soft shell crabs, but have never prepared them.  I have researched how to clean them, and that seems straightforward enough.  I plan on breaking them down into manageable pieces, then sauteeing with capers, garlic, shallot, lemon, and asparagus, then tossing with some pasta (for final results see this month's challenge thread!).  Here's the question - what do you guys think about adding anchovies to the mix?  I feel like the salty briny deal would pair well with the rest of the ingredients, but I am fearful that they, together with lemon and capers, could overpower the soft shells.

Just bouncing ideas around while I sit at work and wait for quitting time and thought I'd see if you guys had any input!  Thanks in advance.
Joined Mar 6, 2012
dcarch - hopefully those two posters who talked about the soft shell sushi will see this, but FYI it's a three year old thread that I just added to with my request for suggestions with that recipe.  

Either way, it is sound advice to not eat them raw!
Joined May 8, 2013
Unless you have a good idea about how they were handled and processed, I'd either bread them or tempura them as well.
Joined Apr 8, 2013
I have had soft shell crab most traditional ways, but coated in beaten egg and fried whole in a fryer is the best way I have had them. Both in the states and in Japan. Served with just a bit of soy sauce. My mouth is watering so much now.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
Softshells are not broken down as such. They are cleaned cooked and served whole in most cases

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