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Lightly Battered Soft-Shell Crabs

Maryland soft-shell crabs are delicious and are in season for the summer. They don’t need much and this recipe keeps it simple.

Soft-shell crabs are great in a sandwich with homemade tartar sauce and lettuce and tomato, or eaten all by themselves. When I go that route, sometimes I like to sprinkle a little bit of an interesting salt mixture on top, which is equal parts flaky sea salt and Old Bay. If you use this salt mixture, you’ll only need a pinch.

Instructions:
  • In a large metal bowl, whisk together the wine, garlic, pepper, salt, and 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Place the crabs in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and marinate for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • One at a time, remove the crabs from the marinade, shake off the excess liquid, and coat both sides of each crab with flour.
  • Only a light dusting is necessary.
  • Dip them into the whisked egg to coat.
  • Then dip them into the breadcrumbs.
  • Make sure the crabs are well coated, Side aside.
  • Heat a very large skillet with the remaining ½ cup olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.
  • Place 4 of the crabs into the hot skillet and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until the crabs have reddened and the breadcrumbs are slightly crispy.
  • Remove from the skillet and drizzle them with a few drops of butter, a little of the parsley, and some salt.
  • Repeat with the other 4 crabs, and serve immediately.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cups dry white wine or your favorite light beer
  • 2 garlic cloves, one mashed, the other thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus ½ cup olive oil sautéing
  • 8 Hotel soft-shell crabs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if you need it
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, plus more if you need it
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
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