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Simply Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2 to 4

A light coating of seasoned flour gives the crabs’ tender shells a little extra snap; boost the flavor with Old Bay, cayenne, or any other seasoning, if you like. You can also substitute cornmeal for the flour for extra crunch. If the top shells are thicker than a piece of tissue paper, they will be chewy, so you might want to pull them off and discard them after cooking.


  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 jumbo soft-shell crabs, cleaned
  • 2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 250
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 100
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 105
  • Sodium (mg): 620
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 29


  • In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the flour with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Dredge the crabs to coat on both sides.
  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the butter and swirl the skillet to melt it. Add the crabs top side down and cook, shaking the pan once or twice to keep the crabs from sticking, until browned, about 3 minutes. The crabs may pop and splatter, so stand back or use a splatter guard. With tongs, flip the crabs and cook until red and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads about 145°F, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer the crabs to a large paper-towel-lined plate to drain briefly, then serve with the lemon wedges.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • donnacolonna | 06/16/2017

    Simple and excellent if you buy really fresh crabs

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