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Why Would Anyone Eat A Spider?
It wiggled and wriggled inside her.
They only look like spiders.
Give me a break. I am not going to write about eating spiders (although I am intrigued by deep fried tarantulas). This is about the greatest crab of all: the Soft-Shell Crab.
Crabs....with a softer side....
I don't know when I had my fist soft-shell crab. I'm sure it was in a restaurant on a couple of pieces of bread with some remoulade or tartar sauce. I cannot really recall. However, what I do remember is that I liked it. I would stumble across it as a special every now and then and enjoy it as I did the first time.
It was at a small neighborhood restaurant(now closed) in New Orleans that I had some of the best softies in my life. They had been sauteed in butter and dressed with toasted slices of almonds and capers. I won't go into describing how good every crispy buttery garlic bite was, but will tell you that it changed my perception of Soft Shell crabs. I now actively seek them out when they become available.
Get them now!
Here in South Carolina, the Soft Shell crab 'season' is only for 14 short days. The key is knowing when those 14 days are. You can always count on it being during the Spring. The water temperature is the key factor for molting. Freshly molted crabs have a soft shell for a very short time. They have to be captured and eaten. Some crabbers capture crabs before they shed their shells. The crabs are housed in tanks of water and crab behavior and shell characteristics are monitored by the crabber. The moment shedding takes place, then out of the tank they come for processing and then for sale.
Easy Is Best
We usually dredge our soft shell crabs in a flour and Old Bay blend and saute them until they are nice and brown. A quick butter-wine-garlic-caper sauce is whipped up in the pan. The crabs are cut in half and placed legs-up in some good rice. The sauce is poured over the top.
This display really give it an exotic spider like look. I can assure you that this really is the best crab!