Soft-Shell Crab: In Season and Ready for Eatin'

by Dan Catinella
Antoinette Bruno
May 2013


At the first full moon each May, blue crabs molt their hard exoskeleton, yielding delicious soft shell crabs that are now a prime catch! On a recent trip to Charleston, South Carolina, we had the chance to indulge on some of the season’s earliest catch from great Charleston chefs. Only days from molting, these crabs were succulent, tender, and bursting with fresh ocean flavor—and boasting a 100 percent yield, no less.

Soft-shell crabs are at their peak for a short time. Immediately after molting, the outer shell begins to harden. The flesh is sweet and delicate, so bold flavor pairings can overwhelm the seasonal delicacy. As for adding textural contrast, soft-shell crabs lend well to deep frying, pan frying, grilling, roasting or sautéing.

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