Maryland Birthday Fried Soft Shell Crabs

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Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:  5 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

As many Marylanders will know, March the 25th is the state of Maryland's birthday.

Marylanders have celebrated this date since 1634, the year the first European settlers landed in this state.

If you live in Maryland, then no doubt, you are looking forward to a whole weekend of celebrations!

Now, most out-of-staters associate Blue Crab as the main dish Maryland is famous for. But anyone from Maryland will tell you that there is a whole host of traditional Maryland foods, such as stuffed ham, coddies (fried cod balls) and Berger cookies.

But, on Maryland's birthday, we've decided to go for delicious soft shell crabs.

If you've never heard of soft shell crab, give it go and be pleasantly surprised. And if you're from Maryland, we know you'll just love this traditional dish – happy birthday!

Your Ingredients:

4 soft-shell crabs
Cooking oil (as much as needed to fill your deep fryer)
1/2 cup of milk
1 egg
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 cup of flour (all-purpose)

 

How to make your Fried Soft-Shell Crab:

 
First of all, you need to clean each of your 4 crabs (unless you've got your fishmonger to do it for you, then you can skip through to step 6!)
 
The best way to do this is to lift the top shell of each crab using a pointed side. You can then pull the gills out. Replace the shell.
 
Now, repeat on the other side.
 
Remove the tail flap at the bottom side by twisting the tail and pulling off.
 

Remove the face by cutting behind the eyes. Use a good pair of kitchen shears for this – much easier than attempting with a knife!
 
Repeat the above 4 steps for the other 3 crabs.
 
Wash your crabs with cold water and then dry with some paper towels.
 
Get out your deep fryer and add plenty of oil. Now heat to 365°F
 
On a shallow plate, mix together the milk and the egg using a fork or small whisk.
 
In a separate large bowl, add the salt and pepper, and then the flour, and mix through well.
 
Take one of your crabs and sprinkle a pinch of salt over it.
 
Dip the salted crab into the flour bowl, and then dip into the egg mixture. Now dip the crab back into the flour bowl.
 
Place your crab carefully into you deep fryer and cook for 1-2 minutes. It should turn golden brown.
 
Use a spatula to turn your crab over and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until the underside is also golden brown.
 
Place your cooked crab on paper towels and allow to drain.
 
Repeat steps 10-14 with the other 3 crabs
 
Wait until your crabs cool, but then eat straight away. Yes, you can eat the whole crab!

Wishing you the best, Maryland!

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