Goodbye Winter of ’14 – Hello Soft Shell Crabs!

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

My gosh, that was a long brutal winter. Record cold and snow that just wouldn’t quit. We had 3-4 inches last Tuesday for crying out loud! But hope springs eternal. Robins are hopping along the greening grass, the forsythia are starting to bloom, hyacinth, daffodils and tulips are popping up and SOFT SHELL CRABS are coming in!

soft shell crabs

This is a very special time of year for us seafood lovers. Over the past couple weeks we’ve offered troll caught Oregon spring king salmon, shad roe, lake smelt and one of the worlds great delicacies – soft shell crabs! These little beauties are blue crabs that have shed their shells and, if the watermen harvest them in time, the shells will have not hardened yet. We remove the apron, bile sack, gills (instructions here) and they are ready to fry or grill.

The flavor of blue crab meat is one of finest of all crabs and the added bonus of eating the entire crab is fantastic! The “mustard” which is the yellow or greenish interior is the hepatopancreas, an organ that serves as the liver and the pancreas. It has richness kind of like the “tomalley” in a lobster. The claws, that are such a pain to pick the meat out of in a hard crab, are no problem. Just eat the whole delicious crispy thing!

Soft shell crabs come in all sizes, mediums (the smallest), hotels, primes, jumbos and whales (the largest). We usually order whales, which are the plumpest and juiciest of all. They are great on the grill but I love crispy fried, served with cocktail sauce, rémoulade sauce or just with a splash of lemon and Tabasco.

For more interesting info on soft shell crabs, including a provocative sexy story about love in the eelgrass, check out our blog post.

We’ve got ’em coming in this weekend so call in an order if you can. They’ll be going fast!

Pan Fried Soft Shell Crabs

Grilled Soft Shell Crabs

Video: How To Pan Fry Soft Shell Crabs


Monahan's Seafood

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