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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Bent

Fried Soft Shell Crab

Fried soft shell crab is a true culinary delight that brings the flavors of the sea right to your table. With its tender, juicy interior and perfectly crispy shell, this dish is a seafood lover's dream. Soft shell crabs are blue crabs caught just after they shed their hard outer shell, allowing you to enjoy the whole crab. This recipe features a tasty coating of flour and cornmeal with a touch of spices, creating a golden, crunchy exterior that pairs beautifully with the delicate meat inside. Whether you're aiming to impress guests at a dinner party or simply want to treat yourself to something special at home, this fried soft shell crab recipe will hit the spot. Serve with lemon wedges and a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a dish that's as gorgeous as it is delicious.

Fried Soft Shell Crab from The Crab Place


  • 4 soft shell crabs, cleaned 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal 

  • 1 teaspoon salt 

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika 

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) 

  • 2 large eggs 

  • 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk 

  • Vegetable oil for frying 

  • Lemon wedges (for serving) 

  • Fresh parsley (for garnish) 



  1. Preparation: Clean the soft shell crabs by removing the face, gills, and apron. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. (or use our prepared Soft Shell crabs and simply pat dry with paper towels) 

  2. Coating Mixture: In a shallow dish, mix the flour, cornmeal, salt, black pepper, paprika, and cayenne pepper. 

  3. Egg Wash: In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk (or buttermilk). 

  4. Dredging: Dip each crab into the egg wash, making sure it’s fully coated. Allow any excess to drip off. Dredge the crab in the flour mixture, pressing lightly to ensure an even coating. Shake off any excess. 

Fried Soft Shell Crab from The Crab Place

5. Pan Frying: In a large skillet, heat about 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C). Carefully add the crabs to the hot oil, cooking in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the skillet. Fry each crab for about 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown and crispy. Remove the crabs from the oil and drain on paper towels. Deep Frying: In a medium sized pot, use enough oil to fully cover the soft crabs. Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C). Carefully add the crabs to the hot oil, cooking in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding. Fry each crab until golden brown and crispy.

6. Serving: Serve the fried soft shell crabs hot, garnished with lemon wedges and fresh parsley.   


  • Ensure the oil is hot enough before adding the crabs to achieve a crispy coating. 

  • Serve immediately for the best texture and flavor. 

  • Pair with a dipping sauce like tartar sauce, remoulade, or a simple squeeze of lemon juice. 

BONUS: Watch Soft Shell Crabs Being Deep Fried

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