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It’s soft shell crab season

Soft Shell Crabs | Umami GirlThe preschooler and I went to Baltimore this week to visit two of my best friends – Dina and the Soft Shell Crab. I’ve been thinking of them both ever since.

Last night we had the dinner of my early May to July dreams: sauteed soft shell crabs over an Asian-ish salad.
Soft Shell Crabs over Asian Salad
Serves 3
This is the very first recipe posted on Umami Girl and still one of my favorite ways to enjoy the soft shell crab during its fleeting season. Feeds two adults and an uninterested preschooler, or three adults.
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
For the crabs
  1. 6 wild soft shell crabs, cleaned
  2. 1 cup whole milk
  3. 1 cup unbleached white flour
  4. 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 Tablespoons butter
  6. Lemon (for squeezing)
For the salad
  1. 4 big handfuls mizuna or other leafy green
  2. 1 ripe avocado, diced
  3. A couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes
  4. 1/2 english cucumber, diced
  5. 2 Tablespoons capers
  6. And really whatever else you like in your salad. Some toasted sesame seeds would be delightful.
For the dressing
  1. 2 Tablespoons Toasted Sesame Oil
  2. 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  3. 2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar (we Copes like us some acid - use less for a more traditional vinaigrette balance)
  4. 1+ Tablespoons Soy Sauce, to taste
  5. 1 teaspoon Honey
  6. 1/4 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
  7. 2 dashes Fish Sauce
  1. In a shallow bowl, soak the crabs in the milk for about half an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, assemble the salad in a large bowl and whisk together all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl.
  3. Remove the crabs from the milk, shaking off any excess liquid. Season each crab with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour.
  4. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the crabs (in batches if necessary - don't crowd them) for about three minutes per side.
  5. Toss the salad with the dressing and divide the salad among serving plates.
  6. Top with crabs and a squeeze of lemon.
  1. In the NY-area, freshdirect has a good supply of wild soft shell crabs right now, as well as some delicious mizuna from Satur Farms.
Umami Girl http://umamigirl.com/


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.

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