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Cooking tips welcome. Especially ways to fry them with a really crispy coating.

Depends on the size and quality, but I'd be really worried about $2.50. I imagine $8.90 at Eataly means their wholesale is around half that, which makes sense. 

You can eat them for a while after they've been cleaned but they rapidly become less nice.

David Rosengarten suggests placing a weight on them as they cook, i.e. a heavy pan, with a couple of cans in it. He was addressing the problem of excess liquid in the crabs, but I think his solution to that problem may also help achieve the crispiness you are looking for.

 

Alternatively, deep-fry rather than saute.

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Soft shell crabs are available in season at all good fish stores in NYC, as well as in Chinatown.

 

At a birthday dinner for one of our members last night at Cantoon Garden, in Chinatown, a group of MF-ers had some excellent, deep-fried specimens.

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Mmmm...soft shell crabs. I like them lightly floured and simply “deep-sautéed” in clarified butter. I think clarified butter is key; you can get it hotter than non-clarified without burning, which allows for a crispier crab. Finish with chopped shallots, capers and lemon juice.

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Last night's dinner was what made me think of it (waiting for someone to post the menu of that meal so we can discuss it). Thanks for the weight tip - mushiness has been the problem in the past. I will buy from Chinatown if convenient, or pay slightly more at Wild Edibles in Grand Central.

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I have to confess, before last night's crabs at Cantoon Garden, I had a salt-baked crab at NY Noodletown. I'm not sure if they were fried last year when I had them, but yesterday's were definitely mushy, with a muddy flavor. I want to go back during dinnertime & see if I can get them another way, because I remember liking them much more.

 

Cantoon Garden's crabs were indeed battered. A teensy bit too heavily, for my taste. They were perfectly crunchy, though, and were really meaty. They sieze up in the fryer, though, Steven. I prefer pan-frying with a weight to prevent that from happening.

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I am already planning to make the most of my baseball widowhood tomorrow night by coating some soft-shell crabs in Wondra, sauteing them, weighted down, in clarified butter, and devouring them while still sizzling.

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