Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

Crabes Mous Frits

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

The Picayune's Creole Cook Book

By The Times Picayune Publishing Company

Published 1901

  • About


  • A Dozen Soft-Shell Crabs
  • A Pint of Milk
  • Sifted Flour
  • Salt, Pepper and Cayenne to Taste
  • Parsley and Sliced Lemon to Garnish
  • A Sauce a la Tartare


The greatest care must be taken in preparing and cleaning the Crab. Wash carefully, removing all sand, but do not scale or blanch them, as this destroys the fine flavor completely. Remove the spongy, feathery substances under the side points. These are called the “man-eaters, ” and are very irritating and indigestible. Remove also the sandbag or “sand pouch” from under the shells just between the eyes; also remove the tablier or “apron.” Then wash well in cold water and dry with a clean towel. Take a pint of milk and season well with pepper and salt; season the Crabs and dip them in the milk, rubbing thoroughly, so that the milk may thoroughly impregnate them. Take out and roll in a little sifted flour, or yellow corn meal. Pat lightly with the hand, shake off superfluous flour and fry in boiling grease, being always careful to have sufficient grease in the pan for the Crabs to swim in it. When a delicate golden brown, take out of the grease with a skimmer. Drain on a piece of heated brown paper, and serve on a bed of parsley, with garnishes of a sliced lemon. Serve with a Sauce a la Tartare.

Soft-Shell Crabs are of too delicate a flavor to be dipped in egg batter or burdened with bread crumbs.