10 amazing soft-shell crab dishes to try right now at Houston restaurants

10 amazing soft-shell crab dishes to try right now at Houston restaurants

‘TIS THE SEASON

10 amazing soft-shell crab dishes to try right now at Houston restaurants

 Soft Shell Crab PotenteIf you’ve ever cracked the protective hard shell of a blue crab, working overtime to get a glorious bite of tender meat, you know the task isn’t easy. So, from around May through September, when crabs shed their tough exteriors making them entirely edible, and with ease, we get positively giddy. And so do chefs around town who are busily adding them to menus.

From grilled to traditional deep-fried, here are 10 delicious soft-shell crab dishes to check out now — while they last.

Granchio Ripieno at Potente
Sink your teeth into a crispy crab stuffed with jumbo lump crab and presented with couscous and tomatoes at downtown Italian eatery Potente. A layer of tangy salsa verge aioli on the bottom of the plate adds the finishing touch. ($29)
1515 Texas Ave.; 713-237-1515

Fried at Riel
At Riel restaurant in Montrose, tempura-fried crab is joined by sauteed ong choy (water spinach) and an over-the-top house-made tamarind vinaigrette, a deliciously-secret blend of more than 30 ingredients. ($25)
1927 Fairview St.; 832-831-9109

Grilled at Coltivare
From now through the end of the month, Coltivare in the Heights is home to a delectable grilled crab creation. It’s served with fennel, tomato, shiitake mushroom, and a hit of vermouth. ($28)
3320 White Oak Dr.; 713-637-4095

Baked at Prego
Score a duo of romano-cornmeal crusted crabs at Rice Village’s Prego. The briny beauties, pan-sauteed and then baked to perfection, are topped with jumbo lump crab, heirloom tomatoes, grilled asparagus, and a white wine sauce. A pillowy potato-truffle ravioli comes on the side. ($40)
2520 Amherst St.; 713-529-2420

Karaage at Kata Robata
Dig into the seafood delicacy at Upper Kirby’s Kata Robata. Here, it’s lightly fried and accompanied by tempura peppers, plus a side of spicy Singapore sauce for your dipping pleasure. ($18)
3600 Kirby Dr.; 713-526-8858

Build-your-own taco at Pico’s
Get your fill of the summer staple at Pico’s restaurant, where the kitchen serves up your choice of two or three jumbo fried crustaceans, along with Mexican rice and habanero-chipotle salsa. Wrap it all up in a tortilla for an out-of-this-world bite. ($29 for two; $39 for three)
3601 Kirby Dr.; 832-831-9940

Fried at Underbelly
The mouthwatering dish at Montrose’s Underbelly boasts fried soft-shell crab, corn maque choux (a medley of corn, green bell pepper, onion, celery, and tomato), and a green tomato relish. Get yours now: This dish leaves the menu at the end of the month. ($24)
1100 Westheimer Rd.; 713-528-9800

Salad at Backstreet Cafe
Cozy River Oaks eatery Backstreet Cafe offers up a seasonal salad featuring the tender delicacy. It’s perched atop a colorful mound of tomatoes and blistered corn for a delicious summer treat. ($15)
1103 S Shepherd Dr.; 713-521-2239

Pakora at Kiran’s
The soft-shell crab at upscale Indian eatery Kiran’s is coated in cornmeal and rice flour, seasoned with Indian spices, and fried until golden brown. It’s complemented by fried green tomatoes, ginger remoulade, and a green salad topped with peach-jalapeño chutney. ($22)
2925 Richmond Ave.; 713-960-8472

Fried at Yauatcha
Upscale Chinese dim sum teahouse and patisserie Yauatcha adds almonds and a spicy touch of chili oil to its crispy soft-shell crab, available year-round at the Galleria hotspot. ($15)
5045 Westheimer Rd.; 713-357-7588