Somewhat Controversial Soft Shell Crab Burger: The Literal Krabbypatty

This burger caused quite a little stir after it made it’s Instagram debut about a year ago, much to my surprise! Here I am thinking I’m just posting the ultimate surf and turf burger and then the comments start rolling in. A lot of people were calling it a Krabbypatty—which I’ve obviously embraced—some were saying it looked delicious and yet others we’re calling me a crazy person for putting a crab on a burger and how it seemed impractical to have to pick shells out of their mouths while eating a burger. Well, let me clear things up. This burger is topped with a SOFT shell crab and it’s freaking delicious.

Soft shell crabs are in season right now and are truly one of my favorite foods. I get excited for soft shell crab season every year! It didn’t occur to me, however, (oops, my bad) that everyone might not know what a soft shell crab is. It’s a crab who has shed it’s shell and has been caught before being able to grow one back. Unlucky for the crab, SO lucky for us! This means that the crab is completely soft and you can eat the entire thing! That’s right, no cracking and no picking. Just bite right in to a delicious, juicy crab! Which, makes it the perfect topping for, you guessed it! A burger! And so the Literal Krabbypatty is born.

Since there is so much flavor from the burger and the crab, I kept the rest of the toppings simple. An easy lemon remoulade, some arugula, tomato and throw it all on a brioche bun. Feel free to use whatever toppings you like, just don’t skip that remoulade!

About the burgers, I like to use ground chuck and cook them in a cast iron pan. It’s my favorite way to get juicy, flavorful burgers with a good sear on them. Heat the cast iron pan while you’re shaping the patties and dredging the crabs so the pan will be good and hot to get that sear. When shaping the patties, try to work the meat as little as possible. Overworked meat will result in tough burgers and nobody wants that! Season the patties with salt and pepper just before cooking. I throw a knob of butter in the pan just before putting the patties in and then cook them for about 3 minutes on each side. Don’t press them!

If you guys trust me, try this burger! After eating one of these, you will not be crabby! Sorry, had to.

Recipe Summary

  • Name: Somewhat Controversial Soft Shell Crab Burger: The Literal Krabbypatty
  • Prep Time
    10 Minutes
    Cook Time
    10 Minutes
    Total Time
    20 Minutes
  • Level: Easy
  • Servings: 4
  • Ingredients:

    Soft shell crabs

    • 4 soft shell crabs, cleaned
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1/2 Cup AP flour
    • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 Teaspoon paprika
    • 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic powder
    • Pinch of pepper

    Lemon Remoulade

    • 4 Tablespoons mayo
    • 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1 Clove garlic, smashed
    • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 Tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
    • 2 Teaspoons capers, chopped
    • 1/4 Teaspoon paprika
    • Pinch of salt and pepper

    Burgers

    • 1 1/2 Pounds ground chuck
    • 1 Tablespoon butter
    • 4 Brioche buns
    • Arugula
    • Tomato slices
  • Instructions:
    1. Make the remoulade. Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. Discard the garlic clove just before using.
    2. Being careful not to overwork the meat, form the chuck into 4 patties. Season each with salt and pepper. Make an indentation on each patty with your thumb.
    3. For the crabs, mix the flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper on a plate. Dredge each crab in the flour mixture. Heat butter in a skillet, place the crabs in the pan, top shell side down. Flip each crab after 3 minutes and cook the other side for an additional 3 minutes or until the crabs are red.
    4. Cook the burgers. Heat a cast iron pan until very hot. Add a pat of butter and then the patties, indentation side down. Flip after 3 minutes and cook until desired doneness (I like medium rare).
    5. When the burgers are done cooking, transfer them to a plate and place the buns in the pan cut side down for a light toasting. Assemble the burgers. Bun, remoulade, arugula, burger, tomato, crab, more remoulade if wanted, top bun.
    6. Enjoy the ENTIRE thing!

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