Soft shell crab suppliers offer high quality crab in their soft shell state in both fresh and frozen state. Soft shell crab is not different with regular hard shell crab. They are just a crab that going through molting process to replace their old shell with the new one. In order to do so, they crab slowly cover their body with soft coat under their old hard shell before they are slowly swelling themselves up to separate the shell and slide out of the hard shell. In this state, the soft shell crab is very weak and easily to be pried by other animals. However, their shell will begin to harden for few hours and they will become the hard shell crab again.
How to buy seafood from soft shell crab suppliers?
Since crabs are going bigger through time, they need to remove their old shell and wear a new larger shell. To make that happen, the crabs doing molting process and when they are finally out of the old hard shell, they will have some soft coat or soft shell completed with the swimming fins and claws just like the regular one. As the time passes which is not that long, the soft shell will start to harden and they are back to become hard shell crab. In conclusion, the soft shell crab that you likely encounter in the market is actually the same species with the hard shell crab. They are not different species.
Since it is possible for the fishermen to catch soft shell crab before their shell start to harden, they are not catch the crab in that brief interim period. For your information, what they do is just catch the crab just before they start the molting process and after that the crab is being kept inside large temperature control tanks until they are perfectly molt. The soft shell crab suppliers will remove them after that and thus the hardening process will automatically stop. The soft shell crabs are directly packed and shipped to various customers including seafood markets as fresh and frozen soft shell crabs.
If possible, it is better to always buy soft shell crab in freshest state. You need to find trusted soft shell crab suppliers to be able to get good quality of soft shell crab. Furthermore, soft shell crab is very abundant during late spring to early fall, this is where the molting process begin and thus you can find large amount of soft shell crab in the market easily with different qualities meaning that you got more options.
Here are some signs that you need to pay attention when buying soft shell crab from the seafood suppliers:
- Do not buy soft shell crab if they smell stink or have weird strong odor, this is mean they are start to spoil.
- Avoid buying soft shell crab if there is some discoloration.
- If the soft shell crab looks weak with little movement then it is okay since most of the soft shell crab is in very weak state due to the molting process. They will not fight that hard when you handle them.
- Always buy soft shell crab with complete claws.
You need to try looking for fresh soft shell crab suppliers who source their crabs straight out of the ocean or the fishermen. However, if it is not possible for you to get fresh soft shell crab then you can buy frozen soft shell crab.
How to prepare the soft shell crab?
It is easier to prepare and cook soft shell crab than when they are in harder shell. Moreover, if you buy freezing soft shell from frozen soft shell crab suppliers then they are mostly already cleaned and ready to be cooked. But, if you buy fresh crab then you still need to prepare them for the first and this is how you can do it. You need to prepare a scissors to dispatch the crab by snipping straight the front part of the crab shell which is located just behind their eyes. After that lift up each half of the top shell to remove and clean their lungs or feathery gills. You also need to take out the lower hinged plate which is located on the bottom of the crab by flip the crab over and pull it.
How to consume the soft shell crab?
Is it true you can eat the whole soft shell crab? Well, the soft shell is in fact very delicious and they are edible as well. You can cook the soft shell crab by grilling, pan frying, and sauté the crabs as well as any other cooking methods that you want to try. You can eat the whole soft shell crab since the shell is quite pliable while the meat inside the shell is very juicy with sweet flavors that going to burst inside your mouth. This is why you should buy them from whole soft shell crab suppliers.
As a rule of thumb, never overcook the soft shell crabs, you just need to cook each side of the crab within few minutes or around 4 minutes per side if you want to broil or pan fry them and 5 minutes per side if you want to grill them. You can add simple seasonings such as olive oil mixed with butter.
It is very easy to find soft shell crab during late spring to early fall season. They are very abundant in those seasons and thus you will get more options when buying them. Try to locate soft shell crab suppliers near your living area or you can just simply order them online if you live in big cities where there is no high quality fresh soft shell crab around. Soft shell crab is actually just regular crabs that recently remove their hard shell in order to get a new shell because they are growing bigger. When they are harvested and sell in the market, they are one of the most important seafood commodities in the world. You should also try them do.