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Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs

Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs

 

Blue crabs go through a molting shredding on their outer shell, leaving a delicate soft shell crab that is exploding with flavor. There are several methods for preparing soft shell crab, you can bake, saut?, deep fry, or pan fry. There are also other ways of cooking that will give equally tasty results. Soft shell crabs are cleaned, individually wrapped, frozen and ready for preparation.

Soft shell crabs are an east coast tradition; out west, the crab is not harvested in its soft stage. The soft crab industry began during the 1870s in Crisfield, Maryland, and today, the shell crab represents a major Chesapeake Bay commercial effort.

The delectable soft shell crab must be caught right after it has molted. If left in the water, its shell will begin to harden in about two hours. Live soft shell crabs are available from late spring to early fall, with May through August the most productive months. They are cleaned and frozen soft shell crabs are available year round.

As the availability of crab increases during the summer, prices drop. You may wish to purchase a quality of soft shells when the price is low and keep them for future use. Clean and wrap them individually before storing them in the freezer. This can easily be accomplished by wrapping the cleaned crab with its legs folded under its body.

Each bag contains 4 x 2.6 oz crabs fully dressed and ready for cooking.

Buying Fresh Seafood Online from Anderson Seafoods has never been so easy, or tasted so good!

How to properly defrost frozen seafood: We recommend that all frozen seafood be defrosted by placing product in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours depending upon the density. Never force thaw a product by running it under water (hot or cold as it can cook the product). Not only does this reduce the flavor, but it is also a health hazard.

FRIED JUMBO SOFT SHELL CRABS WITH VIETNAMESE DIPPING SAUCE (NUOC CHAM)

This recipe is so good we get hungry just thinking about it. Crispy, perfectly fried Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs are paired with nuoc cham, a traditional Vietnamese dipping sauce, for an unbeatable umami experience. Enjoy on their own, or pair with something fresh like lightly sautéed bok choy with garlic and ginger.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs, cleaned and dried
  • 4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 cup rice flour (can sub all-purpose flour if preferred)
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper

For the nuoc cham:

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice + zest of one lime
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • ¼ tbsp chili flakes (or more, if you want it spicier)
  • 2 scallions, chopped

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make your nuoc cham dipping sauce. To do it, mash together garlic and sugar with a mortar and pestle. Place in a bowl and add rest of the sauce ingredients. Mix well and then cover and set aside.
  2. Heat your oil in a large saucepot until it reaches 365 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s getting hot, place rice flour and spices in a shallow bowl—including a pinch of salt and pepper—and stir to combine. In another bowl, whisk together egg and milk.
  3. Lightly salt each of the Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs then dredge in flour, egg mixture, and flour again. Fry two at a time, cooking for 1-2 minutes and then flipping. They’ll be golden brown when done.
  4. Remove Jumbo Soft Shell Crabs from fryer and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Add one last sprinkling of salt, then serve with a side of nuoc cham for dipping.
 

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