When soft-shell crab are super fresh, their briny intensity is unrivaled. Here they are served on toast as an open-face sandwich as Andrew Zimmern's favored treatments.
Over the years my love for crabs has grown steadily. I set my culinary calendar for the soft-shell crab season and eat them as often as I can. Freshness is paramount. When taken straight from the water, especially in the Mid-Atlantic coastal states, the intense saline brightness is almost oyster-ish in its flavor, the textures are singular and the meat is sweet as candy. This is the time of year to avoid the frozen blue swimmer imports that seem to populate every crab shack and sushi bar during the rest of the year. May is the time to celebrate the true soft crab of the East, the Chesapeake blue. All it takes is a quick snip of a scissor to take off the “eyes” and a pull from under the carapace to free and discard the lungs, and these little lovelies are ready for action. When they are super fresh, their briny intensity is unrivaled. Serving them on toast as an open-face sandwich remains one of my favored treatments. Get the Recipe