Fried Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

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Soft-shell crabs cook quickly, are easier to consume than hard-shell crabs, and have an unbeatable sweet, salty flavor and crunchy-soft juicy texture. Fried soft shell crab sandwich makes for a fantastic lunch or dinner entre.

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fried soft shell crab sandwich in crisfield maryland

Soft-shell crabs and the well-known blue crab are the same species, despite the fact that some longtime crab-loving Marylanders believe they are two different species. Soft crabs are essentially blue crabs that have recently molted, revealing a paper-thin exoskeleton that hardens within hours after leaving their hard shells.

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What you’ll need in preparing this fried soft shell crab sandwich recipe

Soft-shell crabs are simple to clean, but you may always ask the fish market to do it for you. Just eat them the same day you clean them, especially in this sandwich.  If you’re new to cooking soft-shells, many seafood counters sell pre-cleaned crabs that are ready to cook as well.

Soft Shell Crab

soft shell crab - for fried soft shell crab sandwich recipe


flour for baking


large egg

Salt & Pepper

Whole fresh tomato

tomato slices for fried soft shell crab sandwich

Leaf lettuce

add leaf of lettuce on sandwich


kaiser roll for fried soft shell crab sandwich


  • One Soft Shell Crab
  • 1 cup breading (Flour, House-Autry fish fry, panko, etc)
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tomato slice
  • 1 leaf of lettuce
  • Cocktail or horseradish sauce (optional)
  • 1 Kaiser roll


Clean the soft shell crab by using kitchen scissors to cut out the gills, remove the
apron and remove the face.

Beat egg in a bowl until it is evenly mixed.

Dredge the crab in the egg until it is evenly coated.

Dredge the crab in the breading until it is covered, season with salt and pepper as desired.

Heat oil in fryer or pan to approx 375 degrees.

Place breaded crab in the hot oil and allow 3-4 minutes to cook, until golden brown.

Remove crab from fryer using tongs and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess oil.

Toast roll.


Place fried softshell, lettuce, and tomato slice on a bun.

Add tartar or cocktail sauce if desired.

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