Fried Southern Soft Shell Crabs
You may remember a post of mine from a year or two back, which chronicled my family adventures in crabbing down in Savannah. I have been catching crabs off docks and boats for several decades at this point, and when I don’t have the opportunity to go catch my own, I enjoy getting them as fresh as I can locally.
While I have prepared many crab dishes, like my crab cakes, dips and appetizers, this is my first time attempting soft shell crabs at home. My husband and I hit a local farmers market yesterday, and among all of the fresh produce and local vendors, was a local seafood team selling all kinds of awesome items.
I saw they had jumbo soft shell crabs and I knew I had to attempt recreating what I had enjoyed at so many southern restaurants, fried soft shell crabs! So here is my take on friend soft shell crabs, which ended up in burger form for dinner tonight, with some fresh lettuce and chipotle mayo!
Ingredients (for up to 4 soft shell crabs)
- 2 cups self rising flour
- 2 Tbs old bay seasoning
- 1 egg
- 1 12oz can evaporated milk
- 1 tsp favorite hot sauce
- soft shell crabs
- pure vegetable oil
- salt & pepper
- First things first, you should be cooking, fresh soft shell crabs, which means you need to clean these bad boys out. Start by cutting off the fronts of the crab’s face, just behind the eyes all the way across. Give them a good squeeze to be sure there is no lingering salt water inside. Next lift the sides of the shell up, and remove the gills from the crab, getting all of that yellow out (as pictured to the right). Then flip the crabs over and remove the apron from the crab (the part that distinguishes girls vs. boys), it should come off fairly easily.
- Heat vegetable oil in dutch oven to about 350 degrees.
- Pat the cleaned crabs dry, season with salt & pepper
- Mix your old bay and flour together in a shallow dish.
- In a second shallow dish, mix hot sauce, milk, and the egg together, beating the mixture to be sure it is all incorporated.
- Dredge the crabs first in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then back in the flour mixture, shaking off excess flour and liquid at each interval so that you get a nice even fry
- Once the oil is hot enough, cook the crabs for about 6 minutes, flipping once to ensure an even golden brown.
- Remove from oil, place on a paper towel to drain, and serve with condiments or on a burger like we did!