Soft-Shell Crab Sandwich

Soft shelled crab is a summertime delicacy with a short season and limited availability, so when the time comes, you have to be ready!

Soft shelled crabs are typical "hard shell" crabs that are caught and prepared during their molting phase. In preparation for shedding, the crab develops a thin, almost papery skin that is left behind after molting. The crabs are harvested at this point and prepared with the edible skin intact.

Though any edible crab variety has a soft-shell season, in the United States, soft shelled crabs are mostly Atlantic (or Maryland blue blue claw) crabs, found first in Florida around April, and then up the coast to South Carolina, Maryland, and into the northeast throughout remaining the season.

Soft shelled crabs are flaky and buttery, with a slight crunch from the cooked shell. They can be prepared any way you would like, including boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, sautéing, or steaming. Follow the steps below to prepare your crabs, and then try this classic summertime sandwich or this decadent polenta dish.

Cleaning soft shell crab
Step 1: Remove the tail flap (or apron) with a slight twisting motion, which will draw out the intestinal vein.

 

cleaning soft-shelled crab
Step 2: Peel back the pointed shell and remove the gill filament on each side of the crab.

 

Cleaning soft-shelled crab
Step 3: Cut the eyes and mouth away from the head just behind the eyes, and gently squeeze to remove the green bubble, which has an unpleasant flavor.

 

Cleaning soft-shell crab
Step 4: The cleaned crab should have the tail flap, head, and gill filaments removed.

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Cleaning Soft Shelled Crab

Soft-Shell Crab Sandwich

Soft shelled crab is a summertime delicacy with a short season and limited availability, so when the time comes, you have to be ready!

Soft shelled crabs are typical "hard shell" crabs that are caught and prepared during their molting phase. In preparation for shedding, the crab develops a thin, almost papery skin that is left behind after molting. The crabs are harvested at this point and prepared with the edible skin intact.

Though any edible crab variety has a soft-shell season, in the United States, soft shelled crabs are mostly Atlantic (or Maryland blue blue claw) crabs, found first in Florida around April, and then up the coast to South Carolina, Maryland, and into the northeast throughout remaining the season.

Soft shelled crabs are flaky and buttery, with a slight crunch from the cooked shell. They can be prepared any way you would like, including boiling, broiling, frying, grilling, sautéing, or steaming. Follow the steps below to prepare your crabs, and then try this classic summertime sandwich or this decadent polenta dish.

 

 

 

Cleaning soft shell crab
Step 1: Remove the tail flap (or apron) with a slight twisting motion, which will draw out the intestinal vein.
cleaning soft-shelled crab
Step 2: Peel back the pointed shell and remove the gill filament on each side of the crab.
Cleaning soft-shelled crab
Step 3: Cut the eyes and mouth away from the head just behind the eyes, and gently squeeze to remove the green bubble, which has an unpleasant flavor.
Cleaning soft-shell crab
Step 4: The cleaned crab should have the tail flap, head, and gill filaments removed.

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