The blue crab, found on the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, is about two and one-half inches long by five inches wide. The Dungeness crab of the Pacific Coast is much larger. Crabs go through a molting season, in the Spring and Summer. During the few days between the shedding of the old shell and the hardening of the new one, they are called soft-shell crabs. At other times, they are called hard-shell crabs.

Oyster crabs are tiny, almost transparent, grayish-white crabs found in the shells with oysters. They are often served in oyster stews.

Broiled Soft-Shell Crabs

6 soft-shell crabs

1/4 cup butter or other fat

2 tablespoons lemon-juice

Salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne


Prepare the crabs as directed. In a deep plate melt butter or other fat, and add lemon-juice, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Roll the crabs first in this mixture, then in dry flour. Place them in a double broiler and broil over hot coals eight minutes.

Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

6 soft-shell crabs

Egg Oil

Sifted bread-crumbs Salt and pepper

Prepare the crabs as directed, dip them in beaten egg, then in sifted bread-crumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Fry in deep fat (360° F.) three to five minutes. Or, saute in a frying-pan with just enough fat to keep them from scorching. Turn so that both sides are cooked.

Deviled Crabs

12 hard-shell crabs or

2 cups crab-meat 1 teaspoon mustard 1 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons butter or other fat

1 cup milk or cream

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cups soft bread-crumbs


1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley

1/2 tablespoon lemon-juice

Prepare the crabs as directed. Wash the upper shells thoroughly. Heat the milk or cream in a small saucepan; thoroughly mix the flour and mustard and two tablespoons of the fat and stir the scalded milk or cream into this mixture. Boil two minutes, remove from the fire and add the crab-meat and seasonings. Mix well, and put the mixture into six crab shells. Sprinkle with the crumbs and place the remainder of the butter, cut in small pieces, on top of the crumbs. Cook on the grate in a hot oven (400° F.) until the crumbs are brown. Serve on a bed of parsley, garnishing with the claws.

Crab Cocktail

Follow recipe for oyster cocktail. (See Index.)

Creamed Crabs

12 hard-shell crabs or 2 cups canned crab-meat 1 tablespoon flour 1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon butter or other fat Salt and pepper Cayenne

Prepare the crabs as directed. To white sauce made from the fat, flour and milk, add the shredded crab-meat and season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Serve very hot in individual cases, patty shells or on toast.

Scalloped Crabs

1 1/2 cups crab-meat, fresh or canned 5 tablespoons butter or other fat 4 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk


1 teaspoon onion-juice

Salt and pepper

1 cup soft bread-crumbs

Make white sauce of four tablespoons of the fat, flour and milk, add a little chopped parsley, onion-juice, salt and pepper. Mix this with the crab-meat and one-half cup bread-crumbs. Fill shells or ramekins, place crumbs on top, dot over with one tablespoon butter, and bake in a moderate oven (350°-400° F.) from fifteen to thirty minutes.