image description May 17, 2016

Pan-Crisped Soft Shell Crabs with Lemon & Herbs

Pan-Crisped Soft Shell Crabs with Lemon & Herbs

Ingredient List Print Recipe

  • 12 soft shell crabs, cleaned and patted dry
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces clarified butter
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste

Easy Soft Shell Crabs

By Andrew Zimmern

I set my culinary calendar for May’s soft-shell crabs and eat them as often as I can. Freshness is key to the success of a simple dish like this. When taken straight from the water, the intense saline brightness is oyster-ish in flavor, the textures are singular and the meat is sweet as candy. All it takes is a quick snip of a scissor to take off the eyes and a pull from under the carapace to free and discard the lungs, and these little lovelies are ready for action.


Clean and dry the crabs.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn starch, flour, Old Bay seasoning, salt and pepper.

Dredge each crab in the cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess. Set aside.

Preheat a very large saute pan over high heat for a couple minutes. Add the clarified butter, followed by the crabs.

Cook for one minute and lower heat to medium. Cook for 2 more minutes until crisped. Flip the crabs and cook until browned and crisp on the other sides, about 3 minutes longer.

Reserve crabs to a platter.

Add the shallots and herbs to the pan. Swirl to cook through, add the wine. Reduce by two-thirds. Remove the pan from heat and swirl in the butter.

Adjust sauce by adding the lemon juice and drizzle over the crabs.


Photograph by Madeleine Hill.


Like this recipe? You may also enjoy:

Baltimore-Style Crab Cakes
Soft Shell Crab Toasts
Crispy Soft Shell Crabs with Bangalore Dipping Sauce




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Recipe Name
Pan-Crisped Soft Shell Crabs with Lemon & Herbs

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