It’s always an exciting moment when you’re causally strolling through the supermarket, roll by the seafood department, and there they are… Soft shells. Lovingly placed in the center of the case, the spotlight shining down on their blue shells, there is no comparison.
If I stumble upon soft shells, any pre-existing dinner plans are out the window. Especially after a long season without them. The crab flavor is off the charts and the fast fry leaves them crispy and crunchy, but still delicate and tender.
Find some soft shells today and tell me what you think!
Fried Soft Shell Crab
2 soft shell blue crabs
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1.5 cups all-purpose flour, separated
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
salt + pepper, to taste
vegetable, peanut or canola oil, for frying
Heat oil to 375 F. in a large stock pot.
Put 1/2 cup flour into a bowl that is large enough to fit the crab, set aside.
Beat egg and 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash.
Combine remaining flour, panko, Old Bay, ground mustard, fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of salt into a wide rimmed bowl. Be easy on the salt… This dish can become very salty, very fast.
Remove the crabs from the refrigerator. I buy mine already cleaned, but you can clean the crab yourself as well.
Pat the crab dry with a paper towel before dredging through the flour. Next, comes the egg wash.
Lastly, put the crabs in the flour/panko mixture. Gently press the breadcrumbs into the crab, ensuring each part is coated.
If the oil is not ready, place the crabs back in the fridge until ready to fry.
Once the oil reaches 375 degrees, slowly lower your crabs into the pot. Be careful, there is a lot of moisture in crabs and they will spit and sputter while frying. If you have a fry shield, now is certainly the time to use it!
Fry for 2-3 minutes and remove from oil. Lightly salt, plate and enjoy!