Thursday, June 20, 2013

Soft Shell Crabs

It took a long time before I was willing to try a soft shell crab. While I had loved eating hard crabs since birth (well, practically), eating a crab whole, shell and all, seemed too close to eating giant spiders. Once in a while my Dad would bring a couple of fresh ones home and pan-fry them in butter. No matter how much cajoling he did, I refused to even taste one. And I was a kid who would try just about anything once (and usually more than once).

It wasn't until I was into my 30s 40s adulthood that I gave in and tried a soft shell. I was with my bestie, Kate, at Harry's Seafood Grill in Wilmington, Delaware, where she had ordered a soft shell crab sandwich. I realized that as a fairly new food blogger I no longer had the luxury of being a wimp when it came to trying new foods. She gave me a bite of the crab's body, because the legs still freaked me out a little, and whaddya know - I liked it!

Today, I eat soft shells whenever I can. And I actually prefer the legs.

I enjoy maki sushi with soft shell crab, particularly the end pieces that have the crunchy legs sticking out. I also adore the soft shell po' boy at Cajun Kate's in Boothwyn, PA. But most often I get my soft crab fix from Mo's Seafood in Towson. A single soft shell crab, served with one veg (cole slaw is my choice) and a piece of toast for sandwiching, is $12, and two are $20. If  you ask nicely, you can replace one of the soft shells with a backfin crab cake (also $12 each/2 for $20). The waitress will tell you they're not supposed to do that, but they will. While Mo's crab cakes are generously breaded, they taste good, and the combination of soft and crunchy crab makes for a nice duo.

Do you like soft shells? How do you like them prepared?

P.S. Do read Kit Pollard's story on soft shells in the Baltimore Sun. I'm quoted.

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