The season for soft-shell crabs is short—it usually ranges from late spring to early summer—so enjoy them while you can. Experts say there's no better way to cook soft-shell crabs than simply dredging them in flour and pan frying them in butter. That's exactly what we'll teach you to do in this recipe. It's a great way to enjoy this iconic summer seafood.

Martha Stewart Living, June 2001


Recipe Summary



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk flour, salt, and pepper; place on a dinner plate. Dredge 2 soft-shell crabs in flour mixture, shaking off excess (make sure crabs are completely coated).

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. The oil should be very hot but not smoking. Place flour-coated crabs, back side down, in sauté pan; reduce heat to medium if pan starts to smoke. Sauté crabs until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes (do not stand too close to pan; crabs tend to spatter during cooking). Turn crabs over, and cook 2 minutes more.

  • Add 1 tablespoon butter and a large pinch of parsley to skillet. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over crabs. Keep warm in a low oven. Repeat process until all the crabs are cooked.