maryland crabs

Soft Shell Crab Recipe

soft shell crabs
This soft shell crab recipe is a family classic. Growing up in Maryland means I have a love of seafood. We used to scoop soft shell crabs out of the Severn River (around the full moon) and my mom would fry them up in a pan. The recipe is easy and can be whipped up in a jiffy.

This week they were on sale for $6.50 per crab so I went for it. These are the same types of crabs from the Chesapeake that you would normally steam when they have hard shells. The soft-shell crab occurs when the crab molts his old exoskeleton.  The crabs are removed from the water as soon as they molt to prevent any hardening of their shell. It’s a delicacy and super yummy.

Preparing them couldn’t be easier. Just grab a few simple ingredients and a pan.


6 Soft shell crabs
2 Egg
1/2 cup flour

Old Bay Seasoning

Soft Shell Crab recipe


Clean crabs by cutting off face, removing lungs and underbelly flap. Rinse and dry crabs. You’ll eat the rest–even the legs. Trust me on this.

crab cake recipe

Dip crabs in the scrambled egg batter. Then dredge the crabs in a bowl full of flour–be sure to get both sides.

Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high. Place crabs in heated pan.

Cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

When done the crab will be a red-gold color and a bit crunchy on the edges. Serve on a bed of greens (traditionally they are served on bread as a sandwich, but we try to cut down on carbs around here). As for sides, enjoy with corn and a tomato salad.

soft shell crab serving ideas

This dinner is a great mid-week meal. My kids still haven’t developed an appreciation for this recipe, but it’s in our blood–so I imagine they’ll come around. Have you ever tried soft shell crabs? Do you have a twist on this recipe?

  • I love your site. I just wanted to say hello and thank you for the time and effort you spend to make this event possible. The crabs look absolutely delicious.

  • Those soft shell crabs look divine. =of course that's one thing we don't have a fresh supply of in Tennessee! Enjoyed your site.
    Happy Twirls

  • Thanks for coming over and for inviting me to show my fried green tomatoes! lol Don't you just love all this great inspiration that we can get in blogland! Love these recipes! I hope you have a fantastic weekend my friend!

  • Oh, these really look delicious. My husband LOVES soft shell crabs, and we can get fresh crab in Florida. Yea! 🙂

    Happy Foodie Friday…


    Sheila 🙂

  • Wow Nicole….You do know how to make someone hungry….My Hubs would kill for these, he just loves soft shell crabs and yours looks great.

  • This is amazing to me, that you can eat crab shells! I'm not sure I've ever had these; if I did, I was a little kid and don't remember. We always get the Dungeness crabs with hard shells that you couldn't eat without breaking off teeth ;o I'll bet this is good, though. How can you go wrong with crab?!

  • I have never cooked a whole crab before. I am going to have to try it soon.

  • This is my first time partcipating in your blog carnival. I love the soft shell crabs. Thanks so much for hosting. 🙂

  • Yumm!!!! This recipe sounds SO good! Im from Maryland as well and we just LOVE crabs in my family. I must try this out. Thanks for sharing!

    @ SweetWifey on Twitter

  • I've never attempted crabs before, you're brave! Thanks for stopping by my blog and letting me know about your meme. I'll be back next week.
    Thanks for hosting!

  • These look so yummy, even though I don't really eat crabs (occasionally in my mom's seafood soup). I never knew how easy it was to make these. Thanks for the link-up, and happy weekend Nicole!

  • Haven't eaten soft shell crabs in years–they are sooooo delicious!

  • Love this — I didn't know there was another sight of "temptations" for Fridays — I'll be sure to join! And I love soft shell crabs!!!

  • I am craving crab now!

  • Thanks for the invite – I love soft shelled crabs!!! I must have them at least once a summer and I've never tried them at home — I think I will now! I didn't know that there was another blog of "temptations" on Friday — I'll be sure to follow yours – thanks!