2070 N. Clybourn Ave.    Chicago, IL. 60614                    773.404.3475

Return to Recipes

At Dirk's
we carry many additional items to complete and complement your favorite recipe such as:
- Select Fresh   
- Fresh Breads
- Fresh Chips &
- Parchment Paper
    (by the sheet)
- Seafood Utensils
and more.....

  Soft Shell Crab Recipes
  • One of the highlights of spring at the fish market is when the first soft shell blue crabs come into season. Crabs first start when the water warms and this usually occurs in northern Florida and south Georgia around April 1st (if we're lucky). By the full moon of May (approximately) the Chesapeake Bay opens up and all the crabs shed their winter shells. All sizes are plentiful and the price usually drops at this time. By June prices sabilize and we continue to see softshell crabs throughout the summer until late September.
  • Softshells come in 5 sizes, Whales, Jumbos, Prime, Hotel Primes and Mediums. Bigger crabs start the season and cost more. We sell mostly Primes as our favorite size from May through late September. Figure 2 per person as a main course for this size.
  • Crabs need to be cleaned. We can do this for you or show you how. It's best to clean crabs and use them the same day. If crabs are cleaned the day before they tend to loss a lot of their juices and aren't as succulent.
  • My favorite soft shells are pan sauteed and crispy. Crispy panko crabs make the best spider rolls and work great in a po' boy sandwich. Personally, I like avocado and our spicy mayo with my spider rolls and po' boys.
  • Soft shells can also be grilled with a little care. Simply brush with canola oil and grill over a hot fire. Take care that the claws and legs don't hang down below the grate as they will burn. Cook about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

  • 8 soft shell crabs, cleaned
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Canola oil

  • Place flour, salt and pepper in a bowl or plastic bag, dust each crab separately. If you want to pan saute with the bare minimum coating, this is as far as you need to go. If you like them extra crispy, then dip the dusted crab in the beaten egg to coat and then dredge through panko crumbs. Let the crab rest for a couple of minutes to let the breading set.
  • You can also kick up your crab flavor with Old Bay seasoning or blackening spice. Just add it to the flour mix.
  • I like canola oil, it cooks hot and clean. get a couple of tablespoons hot in the pan. Pan saute crabs on medium high in canola oil for 4 to 5 minutes per side.


Dirk's Fish and Gourmet Shop © 2011