Friday, December 6, 2013
Unlike, say asparagus, or oysters, which used to be available only at a certain time of the year but can now be enjoyed year ‘round, soft shell crabs have a definite season. For a fleeting few weeks in late spring, the blue crabs of the mid-Atlantic shed their shells, leaving them soft enough to eat whole. Although they are not native to Maine, soft shell crabs are such a treat that local chefs are featuring them now, for as long as they last. Here is where you can find them, in limited quantities, on specials menus in Portland this weekend.
Po Boy's and Pickles - In a po'boy, of course.
Back Bay Grill - Beer battered soft shells with mint and basil pesto; cucumber, chili and garlic remoulade
Miyake - Deep fried soft shells with rocket and pinenut salad, campagnola sauce
The Farmer's Table - Tempura fried
Eventide Oyster Co. - Yeast battered and deep fried soft shells with bonito aioli, ginger-scallion sauce and housemade ramp kimchi
Fore Street - Pan-fried cornmeal crusted soft shells with wild mushrooms, Bibb lettuce and tarragon yogurt sauce
Grace - Crispy soft shells with pickled cabbage, mango, jalapeno and mint.Tweet
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod