What Does Soft Shell Crab Taste Like?

You are not yet a true seafood lover if you haven’t tried soft shell crabs. And if you are hearing about them for the first time, it’s a great thing you came across this article.

What then does soft shell crab taste like. We’ll be explaining what soft shell crabs taste like, what to expect when you eat them, and how to catch them. And we’ll also share some recipes for cooking them. Stick around.

What does soft shell crab taste like?

We say soft shell crab taste like heaven on your palate- and we wouldn’t be wrong about that! Soft shell crabs carry all the flavor of crabs, but you do not have to battle with the hard shell to get to the meat. Because the bodies are soft, you can eat everything. Minus their lungs and eyes, of course.

Most of it has the same texture as warm paper mache, but the meat is chewy. The soft outer shell is crunchy and sweet when it is appropriately prepared. It is worth giving a try.

Read also: What Do Seahorses Taste Like?

What are soft shell crabs?

Contrary to popular opinion, soft shell crabs are not a different species of crabs. They are just regular blue crabs that have shed their hard shell. When crabs get too big for their shell, they shed them so they can keep growing. This process is called molting.

First, the crab forms a softshell underneath its hard shell. Then, it swells up with water, so the hard shell breaks. Then it starts growing a new hard shell, which can take a few hours till it is fully formed.

Of course, the crabs are caught and cooked before this process. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have gotten to know what soft shell crab taste like.

Is soft shell crab good?

No, they aren’t good. Soft shell crabs are amazing. They usually have a richer crab flavor than hard-shell crabs, and they are incredibly soft. Like potato chips, the legs are often delicate, crunchy, and tiny. The claws are crispy on the outside but sweet and meaty inside. Eating them is a delightful experience.

Best soft shell crab recipe

Feel free to ask your supplier to clean the crabs for you, or you can do so in your local fish market. Once this is done, follow this recipe to get yourself a plate of delicious soft shell crabs.


  • 4 soft shell crabs
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • ground chili pepper
  • onion and garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • oil.


  1. Dry crabs with paper towels after being cleaned and set aside. Then heat oil up to 375 degrees in a deep fryer.
  2. Whisk egg and milk together using a fork.
  3. Add flour, salt, onion and garlic powder, chili, and cayenne pepper in a separate bowl, then mix thoroughly.
  4. Season crab with a little salt and pepper.
  5. Dip seasoned crab in the flour and then in the egg mix.
  6. Place crabs carefully in the deep fryer, then fry until golden brown on one side. Once it is, flip and repeat on the other side.
  7. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately after.

What to serve with soft shell crab

When serving soft-shelled crab, you have a vast array of side dishes. Here are our favorites:

Roasted potatoes

Potatoes go with almost anything, and crabs are no exception. You can season them to your taste and sprinkle some parmesan cheese on them for some extra flavor. This is an excellent side dish that brings your meal together.


You can have a simple veggie salad with your crab and add some ranch dressing to jazz it up if you want a green side.

Fried rice

I love having my seafood (and everything else) with fried rice. It is my go-to side dish. To have a complete seafood feast, you can tweak it to your taste or make it shrimp-fried rice. Your taste buds will thank you for it.

Sandwich crabs

Lastly, adding your soft-shelled crabs to bread and making a sandwich is a great way to serve it. I was a bit skeptical until I tried it myself. It’s pretty popular in many regions and difficult to mess up.

How to eat soft shell crab

Soft shell crabs are eaten whole. You’ll get the most of what soft shell crab taste like if you cook using simple frying, baking, grilling, or sautéing. Don’t boil them, though; they are likely to fall apart if you do because they are soft. These crabs are best enjoyed fried. Be careful not to overcook them so they don’t become dry and tough.

Do you eat the whole soft shell crab?

You certainly can! Eating the whole soft shell crab is why so many people love soft shell crabs. You can savor every part of your crab. And it all tastes amazing! You might have doubts if you have never tried it before, but a trial will have you hooked.

Can you eat soft shell crab while pregnant?

Yes, you can! Just like other seafood, you have to make sure the crab is cleaned and cooked correctly to avoid giving the fetus food poisoning. But yes, it is safe to eat while pregnant.

How to catch soft shell crabs

It’s best to catch them when they are molting or just before they molt. Most times, fishers catch the crabs when they still have their hard shells on, then keep them alive in saltwater tanks until they start the molting process. This process is a lot more effective than specifically searching for softshell crabs.

When is soft shell crab season?

Soft shell crab season usually starts around mid-April and lasts till September. Therefore, the best times to enjoy them are from June to August.

Soft shell vs hard shell crab – key differences

The main difference is, as the name states- their shell. Soft shell crabs are hard-shell crabs still in the molting process. Once hard shell crabs shed their shells, they become soft shell crabs until their new shells are fully formed. This molting process makes it possible to know what soft shell crab taste like.

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By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

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