Food & Drink

Where to get soft shell crab

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Soft shell crab
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Where to get soft shell crab for an indulgent seafood meal

There are few delicacies in life as wondrous to behold as soft shell crab. Its sweet, yet subtle buttery texture, exquisite crunch, and tenderness is heaven with each bite. Found at local restaurants or fresh seafood markets, it's a culinary treasure.

But what if these options aren't available to you because you live in an area without some of these amenities? Apart from your local fish markets and restaurants, where to get soft shell crab? Read on to find out!

The Process of Perfection

What makes this variety so unbelievably delectable? According to Mark Bittman, in his New York Times article, "The Soft-Shell Hard Sell," it's the perfect combination of tenderness and crunch; it feels as if it melts in your mouth. Literally.

Timing is the most important aspect of bringing these crustaceans to your local restaurant or fish market. The blue crab -- beginning in May and running until the end of the summer -- abandons its outer layer of protection and begins to form a new replacement. This outer layer remains soft for only a few hours after the molting process is complete.



Thus, they are caught prior to losing their shells; and workers will closely monitor them in holding tanks. From there, they are frozen or shipped live to restaurants, seafood connoisseurs, and fresh seafood markets.

So, are local restaurants and fish markets the only place you can purchase this delicacy?

Surprisingly, no. A wide variety of online retailers have streamlined the process and created a simple way for you to have them sent directly to your doorstep.

Finding the Perfect Online Resource

So, where to get soft shell crab without having to leave the comfort or your own home? Impossible, you say. Nope. Many online businesses offer a simplified process for getting that perfect culinary gift sent directly to your frying pan.

Some seafood specialty sites offer a way for the intrepid -- and hungry -- web surfer to get fresh seafood shipped quickly and efficiently. A store like The Crab Place offers a perfect example of the overall process as they ship nationwide from Maryland.

Products come cleaned, frozen, and ready to eat. Many online seafood stores offer the lowest prices around and shoppers can peruse shipping pages to check prices, estimated time to ship, types of shipping services, and rules and restrictions for service.

Overall, if your local restaurants are devoid of choice, or your area doesn't have any local markets readily available, these online options are fantastic options for getting cleaned, ready-to-eat varieties to your doorstep.

Additional Preparation Ideas

To learn more about its history, cooking procedures, recipes, and more, head over to Cooking Light to get the 4-1-1. Some extra options include garlic, butter, mayonnaise, salsa, onions, vegetables, different sauces, styles, and any other creative measures to spice up your meal.

Mark Bittman, in his New York Times article, offers ideas on three potential methods of cooking:
  1. Grilled
  2. Sauteed
  3. Deep-Fried

As well, Bittman offers ideas on coatings:

  1. Flour/Cornmeal
  2. Tempura
  3. Cornmeal Batter
  4. Ground Saltines

Finally, he gives his two-cents worth on sauces, ranging from:

  1. Tartar Sauce
  2. Pesto Sauce
  3. Chili Sauce
  4. Tomato Sauce
  5. Ponzu Sauce

An explanation of each of his methods, coatings, and sauces can be found near the bottom on his article page. It gives a great deal of information for the uninitiated and is a fine way to start your culinary crab cooking career.

For even more recipe ideas, be sure to head over to FoodNetwork.com to get an idea of all the preparation methods and different side dishes available to help create your newest favorite delicacy.

Resources:

Cooking Light: Sensational Soft-shell Crabs.

NY Times: The Soft-Shell Hard Sell.

Above photo attributed to avlxyz

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