Pan-Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Yields: 6 Servings

When pan-frying crab, I always look first for the females of the species. They not only have that wonderful flavor, but also are usually full of the rich roe that was made famous in she-crab soup.


6 soft-shell crabs
2 cups flour or corn flour
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsps butter

1/2 cup skim milk
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsps chopped parsley


Clean crabs by lifting the pointed edges of the shell and removing the lungs or "dead men" located immediately under the shell. Place cleaned crabs in a Pyrex baking dish and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, granulated garlic and paprika then set aside. In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat to 350 degrees F then add butter. Drizzle crabs with milk and season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Dredge crabs in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Place 3-4 crabs shell-side down in oil. Do not overcrowd. Fry 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove crabs to a platter and keep warm. Continue until all crabs are fried. Add lemon juice and parsley to pan drippings and cook 1 minute. Pour sauce over crabs and serve immediately with Tartar Sauce or Brown Meuniëre Sauce (see recipe).