FROZEN-Maryland Soft Shell Crabs

Premium Soft Shells

Soft Shells ~ Bursting Shells, these crabs boast delicate texture and robust salty-sweet flavor. Pan-sear, deep-fry or even sauté, soft shells head the list for the “must haves” this Spring 2022.

Get the Story ~

Our Kent Island crab boats weigh down with hefty blue crab bushels daily. Racing the rising sun, our hard working crew search out peelers or crabs with back swimming legs showing a “cracking” in the back shell. These crabs soon will fill their shell cavities with water, causing a quick break in the shell from the pressure. Swiftly, they walk out of the old shell, nude and vulnerable to other crabs that will, without hesitation, scarf them down as a morning snack. These soft shells sense this danger and swim for cover. For 1-2 days they must hide until a new shell grows. Fun fact. Male Crabs may protect their female mate as she molts by holding her tightly until the new shell grows! This process is quite unique and special. A soft shell exhibits a more tender meat, marinated by the complete submersion in bay waters.

Chefs around the world pay top dollar for crab crews who follow a strict process in delivering soft shells to the table. One, they set aside the peelers when potted, who show signs of molting. Two, they place these crabs in a brackish tank, giving them time to molt into a soft shell. Three, without hesitation, they harvest the softshell from the tank and clean and dress it for a quick delivery.

Time consuming, but once you feast on a few, you’ll know why soft shells receive awards for taste!

Choosing the Correct Size

Our team approximates the soft crabs’ sizes with a .5 to 1-inch deviation. Cleaning the crab may decrease the size appearance, but once stretched point-to-point, the crustacean reaches its true size.  Choose from the smallest to largest:  Mediums (3.5"-4"), Hotels (4"-4.5"), Primes (4.5"-5"), Jumbos (5"-5.5"), and Whales (5"-up).

Tonight’s menu presents cleaned & dressed Soft-Shell Crabs in a Beer-Battered Sauté!

Check out this recipe!

It takes a true crab lover to dine on the entire crab as an entrée or sandwich! Diners rave over the beer battered salty-sweet taste of the soft-shells in the Garlic Beer-Battered Soft-Shell Special. Follow these easy steps to prepare your own dish. 1) Whisk two organic eggs with whole milk and set aside. Prepare the garlic-vegetable mix: Dice four plum tomatoes & a sweet onionChop three garlic cloves and parsley. Combine all seasonings/vegetables together and set aside. 2) Dip soft shells in the egg/milk mixture and then coat with Soft Crab Batter from J.O., a Baltimore MD brand. Repeat the dipping and coating for a thicker breading. 3) Carefully place the crabs in a hot skillet with extra virgin olive oil. Add the seasonings/vegetable mix. Sauté for 3 minutes per side creating a golden-brown crust. Carefully sauté vegetable/seasoning mix and set on top of the crabs. This combined cooking adds flavor to the soft shells. 4) Pour your favorite beer on each crab to give the crabs a hoppy flavor that complements the succulent-salty taste. Cook for another 3 minutes per side. 5) Plate and savor this unique dish for the true crab lover!

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