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Pan-Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

A simple preparation shows off this regional delicacy.

By Jimmy Sneed

Use this recipe for very fresh, very soft velvet soft-shell crabs. It makes six portions.


12 velvet soft-shell crabs

Clarified butter, as needed

Canola oil, as needed

Flour, as needed

Juice of two lemons

Chopped fresh parsley, as needed


Heat a large cast-iron pan. Dredge soft crabs in flour and shake off excess. When pan is hot, add half canola oil and half clarified butter to fill pan about a third of an inch. Lay crabs in pan with backs down. When the crabs brown, turn and finish cooking on the other side. The whole cooking process takes about two minutes.

In a small bowl mix 3 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 tablespoon clarified butter. Brush the crabs with the mixture. Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.