Monday, October 1, 2012

Skinny Soft Shell Crabs - Get Them Before the Season Ends!

The simpler the better
Marinate in Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sriracha
and Teryaki Sauce with sesame seeds
Where does the time go?  It seems like it was just Memorial Day, and here we are on October 1st and the summer has come and gone.  One of the last summertime treats that are still available are soft shell crabs.  But you better hurry - they will disappear from your fish monger's shelves any day now.

Here today . . .
In the past, I always prepared my soft shell crabs by dredging them through flour, egg white and panko and frying them in hot extra virgin olive oil.  While delicious, that method can obscure the taste of these little gems.  Mark Bittman published an article in the New York Times with many variations of soft shell crab recipes.  But he said "less is more" and he's right. 
Step one: dry off with paper towels
I started by drying off the crabs in paper towels.  Next, I marinate them in teryaki sauce with sesame seeds, shriracha and extra virgin olive oil.  I just put them in the plastic bag they came in, put in the ingredients and let stand on the counter for about an hour. 

I served with grilled baby eggplant
I cook them on my George Foreman grill at 400 degrees for two - three minutes each side with the door open - I used the grill as a griddle.  If you don't have an electric grill just cook on the stovetop over medium heat in a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. 

Et voila! Spicy soft shell crabs
on a bed of baby grilled eggplant
Soft shell crabs were really pricey this year.  They consistently cost $7.99 per crab all season long.  I can recall past seasons when they were between $3.99 - $4.99 each.  To keep costs down I just bought one and served on a big bed of grilled baby eggplant.  But it's worth the splurge - and I don't think I'll ever cook them using flour/egg white/panko again.  You really taste their delicious flavor this way.  You could even just cook them in oil if you're a purist!  Definitely with soft shell crabs, less is more.
1 - 2 soft shell crabs person (depending upon your budget!)
1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
1 tbspn teryaki sauce with sesame seeds (or just plain old soy sauce)
1 tbspn sriracha


Marinate crabs in evoo, sriracha and teryaki sauce for about an hour on the counter
Pre-heat electric grill at 400 degrees (or pre-heat a skillet over medium heat)
Grill the crabs for 2 - 3 minutes on each side (not closing cover of grill)
If using an electric grill, close the cover for the final 30 seconds
Serve and enjoy!