It’s been said that whoever ate the first oyster had to be incredibly hungry. Same goes for the one who ate the first soft shell crab.
I’ve had fried soft shell crabs with coleslaw before, but I wanted to do something a little different and not fried. A quick search on Epicurious gave us direction. And our version below worked beautifully.
After cleaning the crabs, we soaked them in milk for about five minutes. Then they’re put into the hot clarified butter and cooked til they turn this fabulous reddish brown.
Then take them out of the pan and make a fast Meuniere sauce and you are good to go!
Soft Shell Crab Meuniere
adapted from an Epicurious.com recipe
12 small live soft shell crabs, cleaned
2 cups milk
2 cups white cornmeal
2 sticks unsalted butter, clarified
4 tbsp unsalted butter
Fresh chopped cilantro, between a quarter to a half cup
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
To clarify the 2 sticks of butter, put in saucepan over medium heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and let sit til milk solids sink to bottom . Pour off butter into measuring cup, leaving milk solids in bottom of pan.
Put crabs in large pyrex lasagna pan and pour milk over. Turn to coat with milk and add more if you need it.
Let sit and soak for five minutes.
Put cornmeal and cayenne in Ziploc bag and shake to mix.
Heat clarified butter in two large skillets over medium - medium high heat.
Dredge the crab in the cornmeal mix, shake off excess and put in hot butter. Cook on both sides til the crab turns a reddish golden brown.
Remove from skillets and add the 4 tbsp butter to one of the pans. Melt til the butter starts smelling nutty and remove from heat. Squeeze lemon juice directly into pan and swirl. Add chopped cilantro and drizzle crabs with the sauce and serve.