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Sweet and salty briny taste of the sea: May brings the soft-shelled crab season

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From May through the month of September is the season of the year noted for soft-shelled crabs. A soft-shelled crab is a crab or crustacean that has shed their hard shell and has not yet begun to grow a new one yet.

The most popular soft-shelled crabs available in the United States are the blue crabs. These delights have a briny taste of the sea since they are sweet and somewhat salty. One difference between these crabs and other species is that the entire crab can be eaten. Of course with all crabs the head, gills and apron need to be removed before they are consumed.

Soft-shelled crabs are typically measured by length and weight and are sold in five different sizes where available. Soft-shelled crabs can be found all year frozen at many markets. Many fish stores, butchers and grocers that sell soft-shelled crabs have them available to you as a ready-to-cook purchase. Always ask to make sure the apron, gills and heads are removed before bringing them home to prepare. It’s a free service so why not take advantage and save yourself a lot of extra preparation work.

Chart for deciding what size and mounts you’ll need to purchase and cook up:

Medium 1 ½ - 2 ounce 3 ¼ - 4 inch

Hotel 2 ½ -3 ounce 4 -4 ½ inch

Prime 3 – 3 ½ ounce 4 ½ - 5 inch

Jumbo 4 ½ - 5 ounce 5 – 5 ½ inch

Whale 5 ½ -6 ounce over 5 ½ inches


  • Soft-shelled crabs
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of oil


  1. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the crabs.
  2. Heat the pan on a medium-high heat until hot.
  3. Add the oil and heat until hot.
  4. Then add in the seasoned crabs and cook for 6 minutes until the tops turn a dark red and the bottom is browned turning once.
  5. Remove from pan and set on serving platter.
  6. Enjoy!


  • Don’t over season or overcook and your crabs will always turn out perfect.
  • Remove crab meat and mix into a garlic butter sauce and serve it over pasta.

Take pleasure in eating the sweet meat of a soft-shelled crab!

© 2014 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved

Crab fun facts and trivia!
Crab fun facts and trivia! Wikipedia

Crab fun facts and trivia!

Crabs are known to also be called decapods. The reason for this is that they have 10 legs. The first pair of legs differs from the others because they have developed into claws which are called chelae. These invertebrates have an external skeleton which is referred to as an exoskeleton as well as its shell or carapace. Make from chitin it provides protection to the soft tissues underneath.

Crab fun facts and trivia!
Crab fun facts and trivia! Wikipedia

Crab fun facts and trivia!

Crabs can walk as well as swim sideways. They are considered omnivores and eat both plants and meat. They breathe from gills and need to stay close to a water source to survive. Crabs can either choose to live by themselves or in a group called a cast. When they live in groups they all work together as a team to provide food and protection for each other.

Crab fun facts and trivia!
Crab fun facts and trivia! Wikipedia

Crab fun facts and trivia!

The average lifespan for a crab is 3 to 4 years. When a female crab lays its eggs the count can be anywhere from 1000 to 2000 eggs laid at one given time. Crabs use their claws and pincers to create flapping or drumming sounds to communicate with each other. The eyes of a crab are similar to that of a snail in that they are on stalks and even though their vision of details is poor they can distinguish colors.