Crispy Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches Recipe

Our homemade rémoulade sauce takes this classic seafood sandwich to the next level. If you're new to cooking soft-shells, many seafood counters sell pre-cleaned crabs that are ready to cook. (Be sure to use them the same day you buy them.) Or follow the directions below and prep them at home with a pair of kitchen shears.

Crispy Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches
Photo: Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs
6 serves


  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons chopped sweet-hot sandwich pickles (such as Wickles)

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided

  • 6 live soft-shell crabs

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small head romaine lettuce (about 4 oz.), cut into 4-inch pieces

  • 2 large tomatoes (about 1 lb.), cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

  • 6 large potato rolls, split


  1. Stir together first 7 ingredients, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon of the pepper in a bowl; set aside.

  2. Using a sharp pair of kitchen shears, snip off mouth and eyes of crabs; squeeze out gooey matter where cut was made. Carefully raise top shell on far left of crab. Use shears to cut away feathery-looking gills; repeat procedure on right side of crab. Turn crab over, and remove tough flap from stomach.

  3. Stir together flour and remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dredge crabs in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high until hot. Add 3 prepared crabs; cook until golden brown and aromatic, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Place crabs on paper towels to drain and cool. Repeat with remaining butter, oil, and prepared crabs.

  4. Divide sauce, fried crabs, lettuce, and tomatoes evenly among potato rolls, and serve immediately.

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