Soft Shell Crab: it is any crab/prawn – any at all – that is moulting (it has shed its outgrown shell but its new shell has not yet hardened). The key isn’t in the variety or how it’s cooked; it’s all about the timing of when it’s harvested. A few years back, a major airline treated me, and other Travel Editors, to the delights of a chef’s speciality “soft shell crab” in a very expensive/exclusive restaurant at Melbourne’s Southbank. I smiled courteously as I ate, though, frankly, I thought it was like a mouthful of smashed seashells. But that’s my opinion and we all have different tastes – just don’t be fooled into paying heaps for soft shell crab/prawns.
Pictured: Vietnam streetfood soft shell crab/shrimp in light batter, deep fried