The Best Way to Cook Soft-Shell Crabs

Soft-shell crabs are gifts of nature. They are not a type of crab specie. They simply are crabs that have outgrown their shell and have shed their old shell in order to continue to grow bigger.

Crab fisherman harvest them while the shell is still soft because it takes some time for the under layer new shell to harden. Nature’s wonder.

Straight to Recipe

The best way to cook soft-shell crabs

Shopping List l Tool List l Tips & Tricks l Videos l Recipe


When seafood is freshly caught, cooking with minimal ingredients usually is the best way to enjoy them. Same applies to soft-shell crabs.

It has been a long while since we were able to find these hazardouslicious creatures at our local markets. Over the holidays, we were fortunate to find some and they were a real treat!

They came frozen. Good quality frozen.

How can we tell?

If fresh caught seafood are cleaned, packed away and transported properly, when thawed, the sea aroma is minimal. Of course, if you can get fresh caught seafood on the boat or at dockside markets, that would be the best. For fresh soft-shell crabs, all you need to do is remove the gills, the bottom plate, the lower jaw, and they are ready to be cooked.

When food is kept in the freezer too long, they tend to get freezer burns or form “frosty snow” inside the package. If the package is vacuum packed and the item inside the package is loose and moves, then there is a good chance it has been frozen longer than it really should have.

The ones we got had no signs of freezer burn or “frosty snow”, if they did, they would be snow crabs and not soft-shell crabs! Most importantly, when they were thawed, there wasn’t any strong “fishy” smell.

Here is our recipe for cooking soft-shell crabs. It is super simple and easy to cook and it makes utterly hazardouslicious soft-crabs to enjoy. Bon appetite!

Shopping List

2 soft-shell crabs
Butter or Olive Oil
Semolina flour
1 lemon
Black pepper


Tool List

A pan
A stainless steel thong
Few sheets of paper towel
2 large flat plates
A scissors if you are cooking with fresh soft-shell crabs

Ingredients for cooking soft-shell crabs

Cooking Softshell Crab


Tips & Tricks

If the crabs you have is frozen, thaw them before hand.
Pet dry the crabs very well will prevent oil from splashing too much while cooking.



The best way to cook soft-shell crabs

Print Recipe
Serves: 2 Cooking Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 soft-shell crab
  • 3 tablespoons of butter or olive oil
  • 1/3 cups of semolina flour
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste



Remove gills with a scissors and rinse well.


Place the crabs on a plate and pet dry both sides of each crab with paper towels.


Pour the semolina flour on a separate plate.


Place crabs over the semolina flour, one by one, until they are covered with semolina flour.


Do the same on the other side of the crabs.


Heat the pan with medium high heat.


When the pan is hot, pour in oil or butter.


Once the oil or butter is hot, place crabs in the pan and cook until the shells have light brown color and are crisp.


Flip over with a thong and cook the other side the same way.


They are ready when the other side is crisp and have a light brown color.


Season with fresh ground sea salt, black pepper, and serve with halved lemon for drizzle.


If the crabs you have is frozen, thaw them before hand. Pet dry the crabs very well will prevent oil from splashing too much while cooking.

Did you make this recipe? We want to see it!

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