All about Soft-Shelled Blue Crabs
May and September ranks the most productive months of fresh soft shell crabs. They have soft shells because during late spring and early fall these blue crabs are in their molting stage and is most productive during this months. And this is the reason why this is the best time to purchase soft shelled blue crabs since the supply is abundant.
This is how these crabs get soft shells: Every crab will grow bigger and as they do so, their shells don’t and so if they are still growing, the need to shed their old tight shell so that they can grow a newer and bigger one. To free itself from its old shell, the crab has to swallow a lot of water so that their bodies will dilate and become big enough to break out of the shell. Then after a few minutes out of its old shell, a new shell starts to form. The shell then hardens after a few days. This few days slot is when we want to catch them. The soft shelled blue crabs are thus, not another crab species but belongs to the same crab family. The process of molting is experienced by every crab.
Anyway, if you have undergone the tedious effort in prying meat from a sharp thick shell of a crab, you know how often you would want to enjoy the pleasure of having a handful of this tasteful meat when you are accommodated with a soft shell crab that is easier to eat. Crab meat you can always buy any time of the year, but these soft shelled crabs are not always available and they taste differently since you can eat their soft shells which gives you dish 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. This is the reason why it is recommended that you buy them from a good source to get the freshest crabs. If you weight the crabs, it shouldn’t be too light but around 2.5 to 3 ounces are just right. 4 ounce jumbo crabs are a lot better. Because it is a seasonal summer dish, enjoy it as much as you can.
There are many ways that you can prepared these crabs. 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.
If you want to be sure that your crabs are clean, you can do the cleaning when you are arrive at home. The time to buy these crabs is the same day that you will cook them and not earlier.