Soft Shell Crabs

Last summer was the first time we had rented a house for vacation.  It made a lot of sense since we were meeting up with my mom, my sisters and their spouses.  There were some frustrations with the rental (Lots of extra bags to pack, remembering stuff like garbage bags, cleaning up after yourself) but it was great to not have to eat out for every meal.  In addition to saving both calories and money, it is rewarding to be in the kitchen with your family, trading recipes and techniques.

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They’re Alive!  Just kidding, they’re already dead


The good memories that came out of those family dinners encouraged Dan and me to rent a house for our vacation this year.  I was looking forward to going to the roadside seafood shops to find the freshest local seafood and turning it into a fresh meal.  The other benefit, every meal at our rental house had an ocean view.

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Ocean front dining at its best


For our first cooking project we decided to tackle soft shell crabs.  I saw an accessible recipe on The Food Network and was excited to try to make Dan’s favorite shellfish dish.


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Crispy deliciousness


Soft Shell Crabs

Adapted from Emeril Lagasse


Notes:  We bought the crabs already dead and had to make it the same night we bought them, so don’t buy them ahead of time.  I was always hesitant to make soft shell crabs because I thought they would be deep fried, but this recipe called for the crabs to be sautéed and except for a small spitting episode the crabs behaved like perfect gentlemen.  

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Protective gear just in case the crabs act out



  • 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Few chive blades, chopped


1. Season crabs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour(I cracked some additional pepper into the flour to help it stick).  Shake off the excess flour and set them aside.


2.  Heat a large skillet over medium high and add 2 T olive oil and sauté the crabs for about 2 minutes on each side (or until soft but this was hard for me to judge).


3.  Remove the crabs and set aside. Add the 3 cloves garlic and 1/2 c white wine. Cook until wine has reduced in half. Add the butter and stir until melted.


4. Pour a little sauce over the crabs and sprinkle with chives.