Cleaning or Dressing Soft Shell Crabs is not hard to do. A Paring
Knife and/or kitchen scissors is all you need.
You need to cut away three distinct parts of the crab, the lungs,
the apron and the head section.
The lungs (where the knife in my hand is working on) are right
under each side of the pointed end of the top shell. If you look
closely you'll see that the top shell is flipped over or back as I
cut. You don't want to pull the top shell off completely. On a soft
shell crab the top shell is held on only by the center section of
the crab. You'll see what I mean when you pull the top shell
Next is the apron... if you look at the top right of the photo
above you'll see a crab turned upside down. There is a knife whose
blade sits at the base of the apron. The apron is pulled back from
the crab. That part needs to come off.
Next is cutting out the head section (eyes and mouth).
What you see to the right are kitchen shears, and, they are
positioned at an angle to cut at a short angle. Take the shears and
cut a small wedge of sorts to remove the eye and mouth section.
Now you ask: what about the intestines? They remain intact and
are cooked fully, so, they won't hurt you or taste bad. If this just
completely grosses you out you can do the following. When you
go to eat the crab, break it in half and remove the intestines. The
only other way to remove them before cooking is to partially remove
the top shell. It's your choice, I don't mess with it, I just devour
the entire thing (that's the Cajun way).
Another prep method is to cut the crab totally in half from the
eyes to the back, you can do this with the shears. This will allow
you to clean the intestines out and allows for a little bit quicker
Want to learn more about the soft shell crab? It's