What’s there to love about softshell crab? Maybe it’s the satisfying crunch you get when biting through the hot-n-spicy batter in search of the deliciously meaty inside. Or perhaps it’s the bestial simplicity of eating the whole damn thing, shell and all.
Or it’s both, and I couldn’t be happier that they’re fixtures around town again. My friends @houston_foodie and @viva_victoria have been raving about the softshell crab at Ninfa’s on Navigation, and I finally made it over for a taste. This version is a gorgeous golden brown, fully fried and sitting on a tangy bed of jicama-cucumber slaw. Break into the beast to find the freshest of crab inside. Lightly fishy, lightly spicy, and wonderfully crunchy. Ninfa’s receives just ten softshell crabs per day, so be sure to ask upon arrival.
We’re well into softshell season, which typically runs from May through August or so, so get crackin’. Recent stories have left me skurrrr’d to even attempt this one at home -- and why would I when there are so many great options around town? The tempura softshell at REEF is downright outstanding, as is the cornmeal softshell dinner at Tony Mandola’s. Or swing by Jazzie Café for Houston’s best softshell po’ boy.