Fried Soft Shell Crab At Home
Fresh Direct had soft shell crabs 3 for $9.99. Add to cart please.
When I got them, I’m not going to lie, I was a little freaked out handling them even though they weren’t alive anymore. For some reason, shellfish does this to me. Something must have happened to me when I was younger. I blame my mom for that. But I thought of the tasty soft shell crab dishes I could have if I just sucked it up and that did the trick for my fat ass.
I’ve never worked with soft shell crab before, so I it was just interesting for me to examine them in their raw form. They are gentle things, so be careful how you work with them. The shell is obviously soft and can be broke through easily. Do you see how in the above picture the end of the claw is slightly cracked off? Also if you poke it, you will make an indentation. And if you make a tiny hat for it to wear and call it Fred, you can rest assure that you will become attached and won’t want to eat it anymore, so please refrain from dressing and naming your soft shell crabs.
Fresh Direct cleaned the crabs for me, so I didn’t have to worry about that. But I do get weary about keeping seafood in the fridge, so as soon as I unpacked my groceries, I got to working on these babies. I knew that I wanted fried crabs, so I put two aside for that. The last crab I wanted to use for a separate dish, I’ll write about that one in a later post.
How did I fry the crabs?
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cup panko crumbs
A very big pinch of salt
A very big pinch of fresh ground pepper
2 eggs beaten
Enough oil to submerge a crab, or at least half of it so that all you have to do is flip it.
Rinse the crabs and pat them really dry.
Put your oil on a medium heat, when it starts to slightly ripple you are ready to go. OR another way to test, since you have the panko crumbs out already, is to toss in a couple pieces of panko and see if they sizzle or not. When the oil is ready turn down the heat a tiny bit, say low-medium.
Take your crab and dredge in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip it in the beaten eggs and shake off excess. Then cover it in panko crumbs till it is well coated and shake off the excess. On a side note, some people skip the flour dredging part, maybe it’s a mental thing, but in my head I feel like it holds the panko much better.
Now this is the important part. Place the crab in the oil and then hop back as far as you can. Apparently crab and oil = splatter. And you DO NOT want to get hit with hot oil. My crabs were small, so turn them after two minutes and then cook for another two. Drain on paper towels and you are good to go.
With my two, fried soft shell crabs, I am them two different ways.
One was as is with a Thai sweet chili dipping sauce. Even without the sauce, it was delicious.
The second was as a soft shell crab po’ boy sandwich. For the sandwich I topped it with coleslaw, tomato and used a baguette. If you don’t have ready made coleslaw, just make a quick and simple one like I did.
Take a small handful of coleslaw salad mix and stir it with 2 TBS mayo, 1 TBS of grain mustard, a sprinkle of sugar, a big pinch of salt, a big pinch of fresh ground pepper and a dash of apple cider vinegar. Refrigerate for an hour and top your sandwich with it. Because I didn’t have a regular tomato, and only cherry tomatoes, I slices a few in half and mixed it in with the coleslaw. The tomatoes really do complete the sandwich.