Outer Banks Gluten Free Baker Blog

Gluten-Free Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

Gluten-Free Fried Soft-Shell Crabs

Gluten-Free Fried Soft-Shell Crabs---

It's soft-crab season! 

Living near the coast, one of our family favorites is fried soft-shells.  Soft-shell crabs are a delicacy on the Outer Banks and are eaten in many ways, the most popular method is frying. The term soft shell refers to crabs that are molting, discarding the old shells to make room for larger ones as they grow bigger. The result is paper thin crabs that are pure deliciousness, the entire crab can be eaten. Many eat the entire crab (insides too), but we cut the crab in half and clean the insides (but it's all a matter of preference).

It's almost impossible to find a restaurant that makes gluten-free soft-shell crabs, not to mentions the use of a designated gluten-free fryer. 


So let's make some gluten-free soft-shells!!



  • 6 soft-shell soft crabs, cleaned and rinsed 
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (we used gluten-free Bisquick)
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (make sure not self-rising this has gluten)
  • 1 tbsp. Old Bay 
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups oil for frying, or enough to cover frying pan about 2 inches deep.


  • Clean each crab. Lift one pointed side of top shell and remove the gills by cutting them out using a pair of scissors, repeat on other side. On the bottom side remove tail flap by twisting and pulling off. Use scissors to remove the face by cutting behind the eyes.  (This is as far as most clean the crab). We do the following in addition.....


  • Flip crab over and cut in half along the center line.

  • Pull off flap.

  • Hold crab in the middle and squeeze out inside organs, until there is nothing but white meat left.


  • Rinse the crabs thoroughly. Dry on a paper towel. 

  •  In a small bowl. whisk together the egg and milk.

  •  In a separate bowl, add flour, cornmeal stirring in salt, pepper, and Old Bay.



  • Lightly salt the crab, then dip in the egg, then in the flour.



  • Carefully place crabs into frying pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown on one side.

  • Carefully turn over, and cook until golden on the other side. 

  •    Take out and place on paper towel to absorb excess oil. 




  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tbsp. Sriracha sauce


  • Stir sauce until thoroughly mixed.


We have gluten-free fried soft-shell crabs with Sriracha dipping sauce!

Of Note:

Some are purist and like their soft-shells dipped in ketchup!


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