Soft shell blue crabs are a seasonal specialty that are only available in the late spring/early summer when blue crabs shed their hard outer shells but before their new ones are fully formed. They are quite expensive if you are going to order them in a restaurant, but they are quite easy to make at home! Soft shell crabs are one of my dad’s absolute favorite foods and we usually have them for his birthday. Unfortunately, there were other things going on for his birthday this year so we decided to have them for Father’s Day instead!
You can buy soft shell crabs at many seafood stores, although you may want to call ahead and reserve them because when they are in season they are really popular! One crab is enough for smaller appetites like me and my mom but my dad and brother can easily knock back two, so buy accordingly. Some people are intimidated by cooking soft shell crabs at home because they are a mess to clean, however if you ask nicely they will clean them for you at the fish market.
The recipe itself couldn’t be easier, so the only hurdle is convincing yourself that you can do it! Each of the steps in the recipe are so simple, but the result is so delicious! Please go out and buy some soft shell crabs for a loved one (or yourself) today!
Soft Shell Crabs Almondine
1-2 soft shell crabs per person
note- if you buy crabs that have been previously frozen you can soak them in some milk to help them plump back up.
1 1/2 cups flour
1-2 TBS Creole or Old Bay seasoning
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1) Mix together flour and Creole/Old Bay seasoning on a plate.
2) Rinse crabs and set on a dry paper towel. Don’t dry them off because the water will be all that helps the flour coating stick to the crabs.
3) One by one dredge the crabs in the flour mix, making sure to get all the nooks and crannies on both sides. When finished, place the crabs on a clean, dry cookie sheet.
4) Once all of the crabs have been dredged melt enough butter to thoroughly coat the bottom of a large saute pan. If you want to cook all the crabs at once you may need to have 2 pans going at the same time.
5) When the butter has melted and the pan is good and hot place the crabs in the pan top side down. Cook on medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
6) Flip the crabs after 5 minutes, adding more butter as needed. Once you have flipped the crabs, add the almonds (distributing evenly if you’re using two pans). Cook the second side for five minutes, minding that the almonds get nice and toasty but not burnt.
7) Serve with a wedge of lemon and some coleslaw and enjoy this quintessential summer treat!