Today Chef Wes Stepp is going to show you how to clean and prep a soft shelled crab. We might also mention, it’s a LIVE soft shelled crab, so for those who are squeamish, this may not be the video for you.
That wasn’t too bad, right? Soft shell crabs are a delicacy on the Outer Banks and are incredibly popular when they are in season. A fried soft shell crab sandwich is kind of like the local variant of a hamburger. And since the shell is soft, you can eat the whole thing.
Soft shells are available from May to September. They are blue crabs caught in the middle of the molting process. Folklore has it that the soft-shell season is traditionally marked with the first full moon in May. At that time, the blue crab begins its molting season to accommodate its summer growth.The actual shedding of the shell can take anywhere from one to three hours, after which it must be removed or the hardening process will continue, reducing the quality of the soft-shell crab.Crabbers monitor their crabs literally around the clock until they peel, at which time they are ready for the market.
When eaten, soft-shelled crabs can be battered and deep-fried, sauteed or sometimes grilled. Typically, the fried crab is served with a choice of sauces and lemon wedges.
If you haven’t had a soft shell crab, you are really missing out. Come by the Red Sky Cafe in Duck and let Chef Wes cook you one up, and you’ll see what all the fuss is about.
More Soft Shell Crab Recipes
When in season, Soft Shells are often in our menus. If you’re havent tried one yet, stop by the restaurant and let Chef Wes prepare a special dish for you, but if you want to try your hand at preparing soft shell crabs at home, take a look at the recipes below:
Hungry? Come visit us or book a chefs on call meal and we’ll take all these deliciousness to you.