Crispy Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce

Indulge in the exquisite flavors of our 'Crispy Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs with Garlic Lemon Butter Sauce' recipe. Discover the art of achieving perfect crispiness while savoring the delightful harmony of garlic, lemon, and succulent soft-shell crabs in this culinary masterpiece.



9/7/20232 min read

vietnamese mud crabs
vietnamese mud crabs

Soft-shell crabs are best enjoyed when they are fresh and in season.


  • 4 soft-shell crabs, cleaned and prepared (rinse them and pat dry)

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup white wine (you can also use chicken or seafood broth)

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

  • Lemon wedges for garnish

  • Olive oil for frying


  1. Prepare the Crabs: Start by cleaning the soft-shell crabs. Remove the gills, the apron (the flap on the underside), and any loose or tough parts. Rinse them under cold water and gently pat them dry with paper towels. Season both sides with salt and black pepper.

  2. Dredge in Flour: In a shallow bowl, place the all-purpose flour. Dredge each crab in the flour, making sure to coat both sides evenly. Shake off any excess flour.

  3. Heat the Pan: In a large skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and let it melt and start to bubble.

  4. Sauté the Crabs: Carefully place the crabs in the skillet, top side down. Be cautious as they may splatter a bit. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes on each side until they turn golden brown and the shells are crispy. Transfer the crabs to a plate and cover them loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  5. Make the Garlic Butter Sauce: In the same skillet, add the minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant. Pour in the white wine (or broth) and lemon juice. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the liquid has reduced by half.

  6. Finish with Butter: Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet. Stir until the butter has melted and the sauce is smooth. Season with additional salt and black pepper to taste.

  7. Serve: Place the sautéed soft-shell crabs on serving plates. Pour the garlic and lemon butter sauce over them. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and lemon wedges.

  8. Enjoy: Serve your sautéed soft-shell crabs immediately while they're still hot. They pair wonderfully with a side of rice, pasta, or a crisp salad.

This recipe highlights the delicate and savory flavors of soft-shell crabs. It's perfect for a special seafood dinner or a delightful treat during crab season. Enjoy!