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Soft Shell Crab

Soft Shell Crab
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  • Post #31 - May 8th, 2010, 8:06 am
    Post #31 - May 8th, 2010, 8:06 am Post #31 - May 8th, 2010, 8:06 am
    bella54330 wrote:Thanks again, LTHers for inspiring me to broaden my horizons and cook one of the very best meals I've ever had :)
    Bella,

    Looks delicious. Vivid beautiful pictures, the last image with the cooked crab and fiddleheads has me reaching for a fork. Nice job for two things you've never cooked before.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #32 - May 8th, 2010, 2:16 pm
    Post #32 - May 8th, 2010, 2:16 pm Post #32 - May 8th, 2010, 2:16 pm
    A neighbor tells me Sunset is charging $6.99 for their soft-shell crabs. How much are they at Dirk's?
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #33 - May 8th, 2010, 3:57 pm
    Post #33 - May 8th, 2010, 3:57 pm Post #33 - May 8th, 2010, 3:57 pm
    Katie wrote:A neighbor tells me Sunset is charging $6.99 for their soft-shell crabs. How much are they at Dirk's?


    They were $6 last week-- but the size may be different. I like a smaller crab-- more crunchy shell.

    Jen
  • Post #34 - May 8th, 2010, 11:19 pm
    Post #34 - May 8th, 2010, 11:19 pm Post #34 - May 8th, 2010, 11:19 pm
    Dirk's was selling them at $6 each yesterday for "mediums", but they seem quite small.

    Also, the fiddlehead ferns were a whopping $15 a pound! There was no price posted on the box that they were in, so I just grabbed a handful. Lesson learned. Ask before you buy :oops:

    If you sign up online for Dirk's emails, they will send you a $5 off any $20 purchase FYI.
    Models Eat too!!!
    www.bellaventresca.com
  • Post #35 - May 10th, 2010, 1:26 pm
    Post #35 - May 10th, 2010, 1:26 pm Post #35 - May 10th, 2010, 1:26 pm
    Today at the Libertyville Sunset I took a close look (through the glass) at the soft-shell crabs, and it seemed to me that the eyes and mouth had already been clipped off. A cookbook I consulted about cleaning soft-shell crabs says that "this kills them immediately, although they may continue to squirm for a while." It seemed to me that a little liquid was bubbling around where they were cut, suggesting they were still alive. They sure weren't moving otherwise, but I presume this is because they were on ice. I also presume the fish counter guys don't do the rest of the cleaning until you make a purchase. Just wondering if anyone knows how far in advance they can be "clipped" without deteriorating in quality.
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #36 - May 10th, 2010, 1:48 pm
    Post #36 - May 10th, 2010, 1:48 pm Post #36 - May 10th, 2010, 1:48 pm
    bella54330 wrote:If you sign up online for Dirk's emails, they will send you a $5 off any $20 purchase FYI.

    Thanks for the tip - I just signed up. Wow! That's a website!
    "I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  • Post #37 - May 10th, 2010, 2:16 pm
    Post #37 - May 10th, 2010, 2:16 pm Post #37 - May 10th, 2010, 2:16 pm
    I had some deliscious soft shells at BlueGrass in HP last week
    They served 3 small sauteed crabs with a nice ?beurre blanc sauce.
    The crab were very sweet and nicely prepared.
    They also offered them tempura fried or as an appetizer.
    On the side was a huge pile of really nicely prepared green beans,
    and some so-so "parmesan orzo" which really reminded me of dry chessy rice a roni.
    If you get them ask them to swap out the orzo for their mashed potato which is great.
    "If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home."
    ~James Michener
  • Post #38 - May 17th, 2010, 12:20 pm
    Post #38 - May 17th, 2010, 12:20 pm Post #38 - May 17th, 2010, 12:20 pm
    Had a great soft shell crab appetizer at Vie this past weekend . . .

    Image
    Pan-Fried Soft Shell Crab with marcona almond and garlic puree, Werp Farm golden beets and almond vinaigrette

    Also had a great one on Saturday at Prairie Fire (sorry, no pic), which was also pan-fried and served over a cold potato salad with bacon.

    =R=

    Vie Restaurant
    4471 Lawn Avenue
    Western Springs, IL 60558-1765
    (708) 246-2082

    Prairie Fire
    215 N Clinton
    Chicago, IL 60661
    (312) 382-8300
    There's a horse loose in a hospital -- JM

    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #39 - May 17th, 2010, 4:31 pm
    Post #39 - May 17th, 2010, 4:31 pm Post #39 - May 17th, 2010, 4:31 pm
    Katie wrote:Today at the Libertyville Sunset I took a close look (through the glass) at the soft-shell crabs, and it seemed to me that the eyes and mouth had already been clipped off. A cookbook I consulted about cleaning soft-shell crabs says that "this kills them immediately, although they may continue to squirm for a while." It seemed to me that a little liquid was bubbling around where they were cut, suggesting they were still alive. They sure weren't moving otherwise, but I presume this is because they were on ice. I also presume the fish counter guys don't do the rest of the cleaning until you make a purchase. Just wondering if anyone knows how far in advance they can be "clipped" without deteriorating in quality.


    Do not have your fishmonger 'clip' your soft shells. From the time this is done, they lose moisture and plumpness. At home all you need do is remove the 'apron' underneath the crab and make a cut just behind the eyes across the crab with a sharp knife. White pepper, salt, flour, fry in hot unsalted butter, add a little lemon, simple quick, great.
    Whales are $8 at Grasch's in Milwaukee. Picked some up Saturday and they were still alive and moving as they warmed up. Best soft shells I had in years. If you see soft shells, pre cleaned, they most likely have also been soaked in a preservative. I won't purchase anymore unless they move.-Dick
  • Post #40 - June 12th, 2010, 9:56 am
    Post #40 - June 12th, 2010, 9:56 am Post #40 - June 12th, 2010, 9:56 am
    Thanks Gary and ReverendAndy for the great recipe.
    I tried this a few nights ago--easy and delicious.

    Soft shell crabs from Dirks a la G Wiv/Rev Andy, asparagus with pistachio aillade from the Zuni Cafe cookbook

    Image
  • Post #41 - June 22nd, 2010, 1:22 am
    Post #41 - June 22nd, 2010, 1:22 am Post #41 - June 22nd, 2010, 1:22 am
    thaiobsessed wrote:Soft shell crabs from Dirks a la G Wiv/Rev Andy, asparagus with pistachio aillade from the Zuni Cafe cookbook
    Looks wonderful!
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #42 - June 23rd, 2010, 9:58 pm
    Post #42 - June 23rd, 2010, 9:58 pm Post #42 - June 23rd, 2010, 9:58 pm
    I used the exact same source/recipe, and they were delicious! Used Dirk's suggested side of a salad as well, avocado/pineapple/red wine vinegar/oil and red onion.

    Dirk also let me know that soft shells are good all the way through September, which I somehow did not know.
  • Post #43 - May 22nd, 2011, 4:38 pm
    Post #43 - May 22nd, 2011, 4:38 pm Post #43 - May 22nd, 2011, 4:38 pm
    Dirk's Sunday special price of $3.50 per for soft shell, time to make one of my favorites, the Crab Shack Sandwich. Quick dredge, shallow or deep fry, white bread or burger bun, Hellmans and hot sauce the only other essentials.

    Crab Shack Sandwich

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #44 - May 22nd, 2011, 6:47 pm
    Post #44 - May 22nd, 2011, 6:47 pm Post #44 - May 22nd, 2011, 6:47 pm
    Arrrrgh, you're killin' us (again) Gary! Yummmm....

    Enjoy!!


    Geo
    PS. Where'd you get them tomatoes? They look like *Summer* tomatoes!!
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #45 - May 22nd, 2011, 8:53 pm
    Post #45 - May 22nd, 2011, 8:53 pm Post #45 - May 22nd, 2011, 8:53 pm
    Geo wrote:PS. Where'd you get them tomatoes? They look like *Summer* tomatoes!!
    Grocery store "vine ripe" that sat on the counter for a few days, they were surprisingly tasty. A damn good eating day, soft shell crab for lunch and dinner. Counter man at Dirk's said they were on the last of 25-dozen.

    Flour dusted sauteed soft shell w/mango salsa, mushroom/onion saute and not great, but, hey, its still corn, corn.

    Image
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #46 - May 22nd, 2011, 9:09 pm
    Post #46 - May 22nd, 2011, 9:09 pm Post #46 - May 22nd, 2011, 9:09 pm
    Looks great, Gary.

    No soft shell crab here, doesn't seem to be part of the cultere. But the overnighted crabes des neiges (Gulf of St-Lawrence snow crab) are causing their annual frenzy. And this has been The Year o' the Lobster, with live <1.5 pounders going for $4.99/lb.Can't cook 'em fast enough.

    Our Campari tomatos have appeared, but they don't look as good as yours...

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #47 - May 28th, 2011, 6:27 am
    Post #47 - May 28th, 2011, 6:27 am Post #47 - May 28th, 2011, 6:27 am
    Fresh Farms on Touhy has live soft shells for $2.99/piece. They have not been frozen and are not pre-cleaned with preservative.
    Picked up half a box(18) yesterday. Excellent! they are not whales but somewhere between Hotels and Mediums.-Dick
  • Post #48 - May 29th, 2011, 1:56 pm
    Post #48 - May 29th, 2011, 1:56 pm Post #48 - May 29th, 2011, 1:56 pm
    A really nice write-up about how to buy soft shell crabs can be found here:

    I learned that soft-shells come in five basic sizes; whales, jumbos, primes, hotels and mediums. The link tells how much a single soft-shell weighs for each size, how many dozen per "tray" and how many dozen per "case". And a lot of other good stuff!

    --Joy
  • Post #49 - May 29th, 2011, 3:18 pm
    Post #49 - May 29th, 2011, 3:18 pm Post #49 - May 29th, 2011, 3:18 pm
    Just picked up 2 Chesapeake Bay blue soft shell crabs at Dirk's. $4 each! They cleaned them for me and gave me a lemon for free...
  • Post #50 - May 29th, 2011, 6:41 pm
    Post #50 - May 29th, 2011, 6:41 pm Post #50 - May 29th, 2011, 6:41 pm
    budrichard wrote:Fresh Farms on Touhy has live soft shells for $2.99/piece.
    I didn't see them today but I didn't ask, either. They did have Stone crab that I don't recall seeing there before, though.
  • Post #51 - May 30th, 2011, 9:27 am
    Post #51 - May 30th, 2011, 9:27 am Post #51 - May 30th, 2011, 9:27 am
    They may have sold out if not on display.
    $2.99/piece for live actually moving soft shells is a great price even if mediums.
    I did see the live stone crabs but with 18 soft shells, past on them.-Dick
  • Post #52 - June 4th, 2011, 4:26 pm
    Post #52 - June 4th, 2011, 4:26 pm Post #52 - June 4th, 2011, 4:26 pm
    Saw the live softshells at Fresh Farms today but they are now $3.99/ea. They looked really nice, though and if I didn't have my next 6 meals already planned out, I'd have got a few.
  • Post #53 - May 2nd, 2012, 9:07 pm
    Post #53 - May 2nd, 2012, 9:07 pm Post #53 - May 2nd, 2012, 9:07 pm
    While there are tasty restaurant soft shell crab to be had, Chief O'Neill's for one, its just as big a treat to make them at home. My go-to for retail soft shell crabs is, was and continues to be Dirk's. Prime soft shell are $5 this week and go on sale for $4 next week.

    http://www.dirksfish.com/
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #54 - May 31st, 2013, 8:31 pm
    Post #54 - May 31st, 2013, 8:31 pm Post #54 - May 31st, 2013, 8:31 pm
    budrichard wrote:Soft shell crab's are $3.99/per at Fresh Farms, picked up half a flat(18) yesterday.
    The little beauties were alive and kicking as they warmed up.
    In Milwaukee they are $7.50/per.-Dick



    Tell us how you prep, cook and present them for a meal, please.

    Also..."/per" means per pound, not per crab, right?
  • Post #55 - May 31st, 2013, 10:48 pm
    Post #55 - May 31st, 2013, 10:48 pm Post #55 - May 31st, 2013, 10:48 pm
    kenji wrote:
    budrichard wrote:Soft shell crab's are $3.99/per at Fresh Farms, picked up half a flat(18) yesterday.
    The little beauties were alive and kicking as they warmed up.
    In Milwaukee they are $7.50/per.-Dick



    Tell us how you prep, cook and present them for a meal, please.

    Also..."/per" means per pound, not per crab, right?


    Kismet. Earlier this morning I grabbed an old NY Times Sunday magazine and found this. Have at it!
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #56 - May 31st, 2013, 11:48 pm
    Post #56 - May 31st, 2013, 11:48 pm Post #56 - May 31st, 2013, 11:48 pm
    kenji wrote:
    budrichard wrote:Soft shell crab's are $3.99/per at Fresh Farms, picked up half a flat(18) yesterday.
    The little beauties were alive and kicking as they warmed up.
    In Milwaukee they are $7.50/per.-Dick



    Tell us how you prep, cook and present them for a meal, please.

    Also..."/per" means per pound, not per crab, right?


    3.99 per crab, still a lot cheaper than other places around here.

    I purchased a couple a few days ago, they were still very much alive and kicking.

    It was a little difficult to cut off their heads and remove their gills as they were still squirming around, but they were extremely tastey.
  • Post #57 - June 1st, 2013, 6:07 am
    Post #57 - June 1st, 2013, 6:07 am Post #57 - June 1st, 2013, 6:07 am
    kenji wrote:Tell us how you prep, cook and present them for a meal, please.


    Fine Cooking has a good video on the subject:
    http://www.finecooking.com/videos/how-t ... -crab.aspx

    Also, I've used this recipe to excellent effect:
    http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/soft ... sauce.aspx

    Jen

    P.S. If moderators want to split off the "how to cook a soft-shell crab" topic, that would be fine by me, as it is only tangential to Fresh Farms.
    Edited to add that since these posts have been moved to the soft shell crab topic, I see that I posted a photo of the crab sandwich made with this very recipe, up on page 1 of this thread. Gotta go get some softshells...
    Last edited by Pie-love on June 1st, 2013, 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #58 - June 1st, 2013, 4:05 pm
    Post #58 - June 1st, 2013, 4:05 pm Post #58 - June 1st, 2013, 4:05 pm
    kenji wrote:
    budrichard wrote:Soft shell crab's are $3.99/per at Fresh Farms, picked up half a flat(18) yesterday.
    The little beauties were alive and kicking as they warmed up.
    In Milwaukee they are $7.50/per.-Dick



    Tell us how you prep, cook and present them for a meal, please.

    Also..."/per" means per pound, not per crab, right?


    $3.99 per crab. A bargain in todays world.
    These are the best I have had in years, simply pristine.
    Simple to prepare, do not let a fish monger clean them for you as they immediately begin to lose moisture when cleaned.
    Simple to clean they really don't squirm but if movement bothers you just chill in freezer a little and all motion stops until they warm up.
    Pull off the bottom flap, pull back the 'wings' on the top of the shell and remover the gills, cut with sharp knife just behind the eyes. Salt, white pepper, Wondra, fry in unsalted butter, lemon, sublime.-Simple is best.-Dick
  • Post #59 - June 1st, 2013, 5:57 pm
    Post #59 - June 1st, 2013, 5:57 pm Post #59 - June 1st, 2013, 5:57 pm
    I heard one of the fish guys at Fresh Farms recommend boiling the soft shells to a customer today :shock:

    They ended up in quite an intense discussion.
  • Post #60 - June 2nd, 2013, 12:44 pm
    Post #60 - June 2nd, 2013, 12:44 pm Post #60 - June 2nd, 2013, 12:44 pm
    Is it worth buying and freezing them? Got a friend coming down from Chicago and fresh seafood is very hard to get in Middle Tennessee. Love it down here but we really miss Fresh Farms and Mariano's. Nothing like them. :(

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