Soft shell crabs are almost completely edible, but there are a few things you’ll want to remove before cooking them.
1. If your soft shell crabs are frozen, thaw them. Check out our general thawing tips for more info.
2. Using a sharp set of kitchen shears, trim the “head” off of each crab. This is the front section of the crab, just behind the eyes.
3. Remove the crab’s stomach by reaching into the newly created gap in the shell and pulling it out.
4. Peel back one side (right or left, not front or back) of the top shell and pull out the crab’s gills (these are darker and feathery…also known as “dead man’s fingers” because of their appearance).
5. Repeat with the other side.
6. Flip the crab over and find the apron. This is a flap of shell that curls under the crab’s belly. Lift it up and use your shears to trim it off.
7. Cook your crabs according to your recipe. They’re usually deep fried or sautéed.