Nashville Hot Soft-Shell Crab Recipe

Nashville Hot Soft-Shell Crab is a fun, seafood twist on the popular southern dish. Serve with white bread and pickles.

  • Author: Jessica Pinney
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 27 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Seafood
  • Method: Fried
  • Cuisine: American


  • 4 Soft-Shell Crabs, cleaned (they will usually do this where you purchase them if you ask)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Louisiana Style Hot Sauce
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • Oil, for frying (I use Canola, Vegetable also works great)
  • 1/2 Cup Lard (I used Butter Crisco), or Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper (Nashville Hot is really hot, if you want a milder version use 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne)
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 Slices of White Bread
  • Dill Pickle Slices


  1. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or a cast iron skillet (3 inches of oil if using skillet) to 360°.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk eggs and hot sauce until combined. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour and 2 tsp salt.
  3. Rinse the crabs and then pat dry. Dredge the crab in the milk mixture, then dip in the flour. Dip again in the milk mixture, then in the flour once more. Be sure to shake off the excess after each step.
  4. Fry the crabs in small batches. I do 1-2 at a time. Fry them until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the fryer and place on a baking rack over a baking sheet.
  5. To make the hot coating, melt the butter or Crisco in a heatproof bowl. Add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Whisk together until well combined.
  6. Baste the hot mixture over each side of the crabs. Garnish with pickles and white bread. Serve immediately.


  • Calories: 417