Outer Banks Catch recipe: A Carolina delicacy, local style

By on June 13, 2018

If you want to cook at home but aren’t sure how to fix your seafood, ask for directions at your local Outer Banks Catch member seafood market.

Risky Business Seafood Market in Hatteras is known not just for their fresh out of the water seafood. Owners Beth and Steve Bailey are also masters at preparing seafood!

It is hard to find a real seafood lover who doesn’t count the months down until they can enjoy soft shell crabs. For those who want to prepare it themselves, here is Beth’s awesome recipe.

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Soft shell crabs
Purchase live soft crabs and have the retailer clean them for you. Make sure that they were alive before cleaning and that the shell is soft.

You will need:
1 bag of Sweet Betsy Seafood Breader
1 to 2 inches of Canola Oil in frying pan
Remoulade sauce or cocktail sauce for dipping or tartar sauce

Preparation:
In a large skillet heat oil to 375 degrees
Dump seafood breader into a medium bowl
Pat the soft crab dry and then place in the bowl, dusting gently with the breader. (For a thicker or coating, dip in buttermilk or egg before dusting.)
Place the crabs in the hot oil and cook until golden brown and crispy. You may want to turn the crabs to brown both sides. When you do, make sure to have a screen or regular lid in case the crabs “pop” in the grease.
Drain the crabs and sit down to a wonderful treat!

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Soft shell fast facts
Crabs grow by shedding their shells. In the hours after shedding, the new shell is soft and the crabs are vulnerable. Other crabs will use the opportunity to attack and eat their soft, defenseless brethren.

“Shedders, folks who harvest crabs that are getting ready to shed and hold them in tables until the old shell pops as the first step in coming off, know to separate the soon-to-be soft shells from others.

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When the old shell has been completely shed, the live soft shell crabs are refrigerated until sold or cooked.

During their lifetimes, female blue crabs are thought to molt about 18 to 20 times while males up to 23 times. Each molt allows the crab to become larger.

When molting, the shell cracks along the back between the carapace and the abdomen. The crab then slowly backs out of the old shell.

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