Red Lobster Recipe – Fried Soft Shell Crab – Florida Blue Crab

Article by Pam Myers

The following Red Lobster recipe is my copycat variation of the popular restaurant dish. Blue crabs are common all over my home state of Florida and fried soft shell crabs are a typical Florida dish. Try my version of this yummy recipe; the entire crab is completely edible!

Fried Soft Shell Crab

4 soft shell blue crabs 1 egg, beaten 1 cup saltine cracker crumbs 1/4 cup flour (season with salt and pepper) vegetable oil (to fry)

Clean the crabs (remove the gills and sandbags and the small pointed piece on the back of the shell). Soak the crabs in 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of salt (solution) for a minimum of 15 minutes. Combine the cracker crumbs with the seasoned flour. Drain the crabs and dip them first in the beaten egg; then roll in the cracker crumbs to coat. Fry the crabs in a small amount of oil, heated to 365 degrees, until golden brown; turning once (10 to 15 minutes cooking time). Drain on paper towels and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with garlic bread, crackers or bagel chips.

The Red Lobster recipe uses Florida soft shell blue crabs, which are available live, fresh or frozen. Fresh crabs should be refrigerated and used (cooked) within 2 days.

The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is one of the most valuable crustaceans in the United States. They are shallow water crabs found along Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic coasts. During the winter months, they move into deeper water where they enter a state of semi hibernation. Hard shell blue crabs are harvested by traps. Molting is a process which allows a crab to shed its outer hard shell periodically to grow. The crab backs out of the loose, hard shell to reveal the new soft shell inside.

So, basically, soft shell blue crabs are hard shell crabs that were captured when they were ready to molt and held in water filled trays until their old shells have shed.

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