Soft Shell Crabs

Does anybody know if good places in LA/OC to buy soft shell crabs? I just saw this recipe on Serious Eats and want to try cooking at home. I tried my local Amazon, err Whole Foods and they were out. I’m assuming they have them at Santa Monica Seafood but before I make the drive I wouldn’t mind somebody vouching for the quality and freshness.

You’re late in the season but they may still be around. SM seafood has them but I’ve never been impressed by the quality (they usually aren’t moving much if it all) and the price is as absurd as one would expect. Fish King in Glendale is usually my go to.

I thought the season was May to August?

The internet says you’re right but I stop seeing them in LA around mid-June. As a native Marylander I always think of May as soft crab season and the summer for hard shells. May just be a bias from my youth.

I took a look at that recipe and thought there was a lot of lily-gilding for a ‘simple’ recipe. For me, the ideal soft crab sandwich is tossed in flour, salt and pepper and then sauteed in butter in a pan (ghee works too). It crisps up beautifully without a batter. Also, ditch the lettuce and tomato. Just serve with mayo on sliced white bread (Pepperidge Farm if possible).

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Yes its probably a bias and you were a lucky youngster eating all that fresh crab in Maryland. I love soft shell crabs but hard to get fresh ones out here. When I see them at any good restaurant its usually an automatic order.

Dory Fleet


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