The Key Elements of Great Crabs

All about Soft-Shelled Blue Crabs

The months when soft shelled blue crabs are in abundance are during the months of May and September. The reason why these crabs have soft shells during these months is because they are molting and it is also during these months that they are most productive. And this is the reason why this is the best time to purchase soft shelled blue crabs since the supply is abundant.

For the unknowing, in the U.S., these blue crab species have gotten too big for their shells and therefore in order for them to keep growing, they shed their old shell away in exchange for a newer and bigger one. In sequence, its way of discharging their old shell is to swallow water in order to dilate its body, enough to break away from its old shell. It only take a few minutes after breaking out of its old shell before its new shell starts to grow. The shell then hardens after a few days. We want to catch these blue crabs before their shell hardens. The soft shelled blue crabs are thus, not another crab species but belongs to the same crab family. It is not only these blue crabs that experience molting but every type of crab for that matter.

It takes effort to take meat out of a regular crab but with the soft shelled crab, eating its meat is a lot easier. Although crab meat is made available year round, soft shell crab, have an entirely different taste when they are in this state as it includes the delicate soft shells that adds to a nice crunch. Soft shelled blue crabs are a delicacy but you need to know how to pick the right kind from the right source. If you want to buy fresh crabs, you need to buy them from a good source. The weight of the crab should not be lighter than 2.5 to 3 ounces. If you can find what is known as jumbo’s (4 ounces), this is even better. During the soft shelled blue crab season, it is good to treat yourself to as much of these crabs are you can eat.

Preparation and cooking of these soft shelled crabs can be done in a number of ways. Deep fried with batter or shallow fried with flour, whatever your recipe for blue crabs are, they will surely satisfy your appetite. Other ways to prepare crabs are putting them in buns, grilling over hot coals to have that smoky aroma, or simply pan friend in olive oil.

You can also get them cleaned up before bringing them home, but it is easy to do that at home where you have better control of it being contaminated. Another thing that you have to remember is to buy them when you intend to cook it on that same day.
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