In the United States, the so-called blue crab is found along the Atlantic coast and particularly in the Chesapeake Bay area.
In order for a hard crab to grow, it must periodically shed its old shell through a process known as molting. Following this process, the crab’s new shell is extremely soft. Since the shell is extremely soft, the entire crab can be eaten.
Crabs must be cleaned before cooking:
Lift the large lateral spines of the shell top and scrape off the feathery gills underneath.
Remove eyes and mouth parts by making one slice just behind the eyes. I use scissors; it’s much easier than a knife.
Cut away the apron from the underside and rinse well.
4 soft shell crabs, cleaned and dried
1/4 cup flour seasoned, with salt and pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp capers
Juice of one lemon
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup fish stock
2 tbsp butter
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Dredge crabs in flour mixture, dip in the beaten eggs, and add to the frying pan. Cook uncovered 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Transfer the crabs to paper towel to drain. (Soft shell crabs contain a lot of moisture and might “spit” while browning, so be careful unless you want burns like some one I know.) Drain the oil, add the butter, capers, white wine, lemon juice, and fish stock. Bring to a boil, add the crabs and simmer on the medium heat until juice is reduced by half, about five minutes.