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OBX Second Annual Soft Shell Crab Week: May 13-18, 2024

OBX Second Annual Soft Shell Crab Week: May 13-18, 2024

Soft-shell crabs are a popular delicacy in Outer Banks and are only available for a limited time each year. From May 13th to May 18th, it is Soft Shell Crab Week, during which a select number of restaurants offer this delicious crustacean on their menus at special prices.

What are Soft Shell Crabs?

The crabs available are the freshest of the lot. The process of obtaining soft shell crab is very labor-intensive and requires precise timing. The crabbers wait for the Blue Crabs to be on the verge of molting or shedding their shell. Once the crabs are caught, they are transferred to large holding tanks where the shedders keep an eye out for signs that they are about to molt.

Once the molting process starts, it becomes a race against time, as the crab will begin to form its new shell in just a few hours. The soft crabs are then wrapped in seaweed and sold to restaurants and seafood markets up and down the coast.

The season for soft shell crabs typically runs from late April or early May through September. Many crabbers believe that the start of the season coincides with the first full moon cycle in May.

Soft Shell Crab Week

For six days, from Monday to Saturday, you can indulge in delicious soft shell crabs at 30 different restaurants along the Outer Banks coast, from Duck to Burton. Although this is a relatively new tradition, it is quickly becoming a beloved one.

The chefs at these restaurants offer a variety of ways to prepare soft shell crab, including the classic fried soft shell crab sandwich. Another popular option is the Soft Shell Crab Benedict, served for breakfast at many restaurants.

And, of course, there are many different takes on the classic fried Soft Shell. Just a few of the inventive dishes are tempura fried local soft shell crab stuffed with cheese served with coconut rice and a grilled fruit salsa at 1587 Restaurant & Lounge and the Sticky Crabs at Dirty Dicks Crabhouse., Ginger Scallion fried soft shells tossed in a house-made sweet & spicy teriyaki over rice.

There is also a fried Soft Shell served on hushpuppy waffles topped with creamy slaw and a spiced maple syrup drizzle from Kelly’s Outer Banks Catering, and the Blue Water Grill and Raw Bar has a Mexican-inspired fried soft shell with a Grilled Sweet Corn “Elote” Salad topped with fresh Lime Crema and queso Fresco.

There are many other dishes, such as the tacos at Bonzers, the soft shell pasta at Basnight’s Lone Cedar Café and the soft shell fried green tomato BLT at Henry’s.

Soft Shell Crab Week is an excellent opportunity for seafood lovers to enjoy delicious meals offered by several restaurants in the area. The event occurs on the week following Mother’s Day, from the 13th to the 19th. If you’re planning to visit the Outer Banks during that time, make sure to add an extra day or two to your itinerary to indulge in these mouth-watering meals.

Soft shell crabs are a delicacy that you won’t find on many menus throughout the year, so this is your chance to enjoy them when they are in season. These restaurants go above and beyond to offer the best soft shell crab dishes to the hungry public. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to have a delectable dining experience.

Participating Restaurants

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