Fresh! Local! Fried! Soft Shell Crabs in the Outer Banks

Why is it when it comes to open flames, cooking becomes the territory of the men folk? Maybe it's because the don't mind sweating as much... or that fire is just, well, fun to play with (don't tell the kids).... but this time around, I was determined to stick around and learn the tricks of the fish fry trade.

Kevin had culled the seafood markets of Corolla, NC for local catches and we had a menagerie of shrimp, tilefish, rockfish and soft shell crabs to batter and fry up for dinner. Every chef's got his method, and here's Kevin's demonstrated on the soft shell crabs...

Directions (L to R)
1. Find a seafood market or vendor with fresh, local soft shell crabs and ask them to clean the soft shell crabs for you.
2. Heat peanut oil in large fryer to 325-350 degrees - use a thermometer to confirm when it's ready.
3. Dredge crab through bowl containing flour, salt, pepper and Old Bay seasoning.
4. Dredge crab through bowl containing egg and milk.
5. Dredge crab through bowl containing House Autry medium hot seasoning.
6. BTW, this is Kevin's secret ingredient... he swears by House Autry.
7. Set aside on tray for frying..
8. Lower crabs into the oil (use a basket rather than dropping them in - avoids splatter burns). Cook in oil until they float to the top and begin to turn golden brown.
9. Set aside to cool. And eat!!

Next time, I have to hang up my girl card, get my hands dusty and get my fry on. This time around, I was happy to take pics and work on the perfect beverage pairing... (after the jump)

PS. Want to make a mosaic like this out of your photos? I use Big Huge Labs Mosaic Maker - it's free!


Evan Halperin said...

this isnt helping my cravings for soft shell crabs. damnit!

Tammy Gordon said...

Get in there and GET SOME! It's such a short season, I give myself permission to indulge.