Soft-Shell Crabs with Sliced Sweet Onion

Ask your fishmonger to clean the soft-shell crabs for you. Crabs should be cooked within six hour of cleaning.

  • Servings: 4
Soft-Shell Crabs with Sliced Sweet Onion

Source: Martha Stewart Living, March 2007


  • 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground white cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion, very thinly sliced, for serving
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for serving
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Whisk together buttermilk, eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish; set aside. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in another shallow dish.

  2. Working in batches if necessary, place crabs in egg mixture, and turn to coat. Let stand 5 minutes. Lift out, allowing excess to drip off. Transfer to cornmeal mixture; turn to coat. Tap off excess, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.

  3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if necessary, add crabs; cook, flipping once, until crisp, golden brown, and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Using a slotted spatula, transfer crabs to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain. Place in oven to keep warm while making sauce.

  4. Divide onion slices among plates; set aside. Pour off oil from the skillet; wipe clean. Add butter; melt over medium-low heat. Stir in lemon juice, chopped parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle onion slices generously with lemon sauce, and top with crabs. Pour remaining sauce over crabs. Serve with lemon wedges. Garnish with parsley sprigs.


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