Monday, June 18, 2018

Fried Soft-Shell Green Crabs

You can fry the soft-shell crabs with or without salt and pepper, you can coat them with your choice of flour or your very own special batter. For the larger crabs (any over 1 inch) I prefer to clean them before frying. The process is easy and quick. Check out my previous link How to Prepare Soft-Shell Green Crabs For Eating. Years ago my mother purchased several dozen soft-shell blue crabs for our family during a vacation in The Outer Banks. I remember we had to drive a very long way to get them and they certainly were not cheap. At that time I prepared the crabs and then coated them with store-bought pre-seasoned corn flour. I liked the taste of the fine corn flour. Here I use masa harina, a type of corn flour for making Mexican tamales or tortillas, but add a few extra ingredients to season it. This seasoned flour is enough for about 15-20 prepared soft-shell green crabs ranging from 1 to 3 inches in size. When I deep fry my food I prefer to place some type of barrier under my working area with either plastic, paper bags or old newspapers (if anyone still get them). This makes for easy and fast clean up. I use both ends of my chopsticks for frying these crabs--one end is dry, to coat the crabs and other other end is wet, to fry them. Any types of frying can cause some oil to splatter. I have a splatter guard that is very useful and I highly recommend it. I always have a separate dish or strainer with a few layers of clean paper towels to put the fried food in. This will help remove some of the excess oil. Also, for extra precaution I wear goggles or glasses to protect my eyes from the splattering oil.

fried soft-shell green crabs

Fried Soft-Shell Green Crabs


Vegetable oil for deep frying (I normally use canola oil)
1/2 cup masa harina (corn flour)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
15-20 prepared soft-shell green crabs (see How to Prepare Soft-Shell Green Crabs For Eating)


Pre-heat the oil in a pot or fryer until the oil temperature reach about 350-375 degrees F. You can test your oil for readiness by frying a leg that broke off. If the oil is hot and ready the leg will sizzle and cook quickly. If it does not then wait a little bit more.

Mix the dry ingredients--masa harina, turmeric powder, salt and pepper and then sift all the ingredients using a fine strainer. Gently tap the side of the strainer with your palm. Discard any large pieces that are left in the strainer. Once the oil is hot coat 1-2 crabs at a time on both sides, shake off excess flour and gently drop them in the pot or fryer. Turn the crabs a few times to prevent them from burning and let them fry for about 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove and place them in a strainer or on clean paper towels.

Helpful Hints:

*If you prefer to have a little extra flour coating on the crabs then dip the crab into the whisked egg (1 egg would be sufficient) before dredging it into the flour.
*Here is a short video about soft-shell crabs: Green crabs are on the menu.
*Here is a short clip about green crab. Fighting back against the voracious green crab.

use a strainer to sift masa harina,
turmeric powder, salt and pepper
gently tap the side of the strainer with your palm
sifted seasoned flour
seasoned flour, prepared soft-shell crabs, and clean paper towels
coat 1-2 crabs in the seasoned flour
(coating all will make the flour soggy)
coated crab
shake off excess flour
and drop the crab in the hot oil
fry small numbers of crabs at a time (frying too many
will cause your oil temperature to lower quickly causing soggy crabs)
fried crispy soft-shell green crabs
fried soft-shell green crabs

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