French in a Flash: Soft-Shell Crab Meuni\u00e8re

[Photograph: Kerry Saretsky]

Sole Meunière is one of the giants of deliciousness in French cuisine. I think it's the dish that Meryl Streep moons over rapturously in Julie & Julia. And for good reason. Thin, slightly crisped fillets of sole soaked in lemony brown butter. What could be better?

Maybe, just maybe, soft-shell crabs can. When I saw them at the store this week and thought of how my mom always sautés them up in butter, I wonder if I couldn't hybrid the two and prepare the crabs à la Meunière: plunged in milk, lightly dredged in flour, seared, and then bathed in that brown butter with just a hint of lemon. Nothing goes better with seafood than melted butter. Lemon brown butter is just that bit more special.

I think I might finally have maman trumped!

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

French in a Flash: Soft-Shell Crab Meunière

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 2 to 4
Active time:10 minutes
Total time:10 minutes
This recipe appears in: How to Clean Soft-Shell Crabs


  • 4 jumbo soft-shell crabs, prepared by your fishmonger
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 5/8-inch slice of lemon
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)


  1. 1

    Place the crabs in a bowl of milk. Season the flour with the salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the crabs in the seasoned flour.

  2. 2

    In a wide skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Place the other two tablespoons of butter in a small saucepot over medium-low heat. Melt the butter, and then continue to gently cook it until the butter solids turn golden brown. Add in the lemon slice and remove from the heat.

  3. 3

    Place the crabs in the skillet with the butter and sauté until golden brown, turning once, about 3 minutes per side. Arrange on a platter, and pour the lemony butter sauce over the crabs. Garnish with parsley and/or extra lemon wedges.


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