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Caraluzzi's Recipes

Crispy Soft Shell Crab Sandwich

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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4


  • 4 medium soft shell crabs cleaned
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 heaping teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper try Caraluzzi's Sea Salt and Five Pepper Blend
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • canola oil as needed
  • 4 buns try Brioche buns
  • 1 tomato sliced
  • 4 larges leaves of lettuce
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Mayonnaise as needed
  • Yellow mustard as needed


  • Gently dry the soft shells with a paper towel and set aside until needed.
  • Add the flour, cornmeal, Old Bay, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a brown bag and shake until combined. Pour on a large dinner plate.
  • Pour the milk in a wide and shallow container, like a square container of tupperware. Add a dash or two of Old Bay in the milk for flavor.
  • Coat the crab in the flour mixture, then the milk, then the flour mixture once more. Shake off any excess flour, then transfer to a plate. Repeat until all crabs are finished. Set in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook, add enough canola oil to cover the bottom of a skillet. Heat to medium-high heat. Once hot, pan-fry the crabs (2 at a time) for 2-3 minutes on each side. The crabs will be brown and crispy, and only take a few minutes to fry. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Repeat for remaining crabs.
  • To ensemble the sandwich, spread buns with mayonnaise, mustard or tartar sauce. Sprinkle the dressed buns with Old Bay, then top with lettuce, tomato, and a crab. Squeeze a lemon over the crab then add the top bun.


The most important thing with soft shell crabs is that they’re cleaned. The face, gills, and apron all must be removed before consuming.