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Maryland Soft Crabs, From the Chesapeake Bay to Your Doorstep

TLDR: if you wanna order fresh Maryland soft crabs, you're in the right place! Order for local carryout or nationwide shipping.

Why Soft Crabs?

So, what makes soft crabs so special? Unlike hard shell crabs, soft crabs are in a molting stage, meaning they shed their old shells to grow new, larger ones.

This delicate period, known as the "soft" stage, is when the crabs are most succulent and tender – making them a culinary delight. Easily enjoyed fried, sautéed, grilled, or even in sandwiches, our soft crabs are a versatile delicacy that brings the Chesapeake Bay straight to your taste buds.

A Local Waterman & His Family

We are Waterman’s Pride! 🌊 Founded and helmed by Captain Tony Vicari and his  family, we take immense pride in our rich heritage of harvesting the freshest soft crabs straight from the heart of the Chesapeake Bay. If you’re a local craving the authentic taste of Maryland seafood or a stranded Marylander longing for home, welcome aboard!

Fresh-Caught Soft Crabs

At Waterman’s Pride, we uphold the proud legacy of sustainable crabbing practices that have been passed down through generations. Captain Tony and his crew set out on the Bay well before dawn. This commitment to freshness means that when you enjoy our soft crabs, you’re partaking in a tradition as rich and vibrant as the Chesapeake Bay itself.

How to Clean Soft Crabs

Before you cook your soft crabs, you should remove the apron, gills, and face. Here’s a 90-second video showing you how to do just that:

When we say our soft crabs are fresh, we mean it. Each soft crab is caught, frozen, packaged, and shipped with the utmost care to ensure it retains its peak flavor and texture. 

Speaking of shipping, let’s talk about how our process guarantees that you get the most succulent, perfectly preserved soft crabs.

How We Ship Your Soft Crabs

Ensuring our crabs reach you in pristine condition is our top priority. Here’s how we do it:

  1. Catch and Freeze: Captain Tony and the crew handpick each soft crab daily. If you know anything about soft crabs, you know they have to be caught within an hour of when they shed, or their shells will already be hardening! (“Paper Shells” is what we call the ones that have begun to harden.) These newly-molted soft crabs are frozen iimmediately and prepared for shipping to preserve their fresh-from-the-Bay flavor.
  1. Packaging: We pack our soft crabs in insulated boxes with dry ice, ensuring they stay cold and fresh throughout their journey to you. This method locks in the juicy tenderness, delivering the same experience as if you had bought them right from our store on Belair Road.
  1. Next Day Delivery: Thanks to our partnership with UPS Next Day Air, you’ll receive your order the very next day, no matter where you are in the continental US. (Except Sundays… UPS Next Day Air doesn’t deliver on Sundays, so make sure to get your order in by 1pm on Friday if you want them delivered Saturday to cook on Sunday!) Whether you’re in the hustle and bustle of a city center or hiding out in the middle of nowhere, the Bay’s finest crabs will be at your doorstep in no time.

How to Cook Your Soft Crabs: Tips from Captain Tony

Not sure how to prepare your soft crabs? Captain Tony has got you covered. Here are a few of his favorite recipes to make the most out of your Waterman's Pride soft crabs:

Simple Pan-Fried Soft Crabs

  1. Dip the soft crabs in an egg wash (a mixture of egg and milk or water). 
  2. Bread them in J.O. Soft Crab Batter, or, if you don’t have any, a mixture of flour, crab seasoning, and a little corn meal.
  3. Heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat (we’re partial to peanut oil but any frying oil will do).
  4. Add the crabs and cook for about 3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  5. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy!

Soft Crab Sandwich

  1. Toast your favorite bread or bun.
  2. Spread a layer of tartar sauce, mayo, or your choice of aioli.
  3. Add lettuce, tomato, and fried soft crabs. Bacon if you want to get fancy.
  4. Top with a dollop of mayo or your favorite sauce.
  5. Dig in and savor the crispy, tender goodness!

Grilled Soft Crabs

  1. Brush the crabs lightly with olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle with J.O. Crab Seasoning.
  3. Grill on medium heat for 4-5 minutes per side.
  4. Serve with a fresh salad or corn on the cob.

Join the Waterman’s Pride Family

Whether you’re a long-time soft-crab lover or new to the joys of soft crabs, we invite you to become part of the Waterman’s Pride family. By choosing our crabs, you’re not only indulging in a famous Maryland dish but also supporting a dedicated family business that cherishes traditional, sustainable crabbing practices.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates, behind-the-scenes looks at our crabbing adventures, and mouth-watering recipe ideas. And remember – wherever you are, the unforgettable taste of fresh Chesapeake Bay soft crabs is just a click away.

Ready to bring home the freshest soft crabs you’ve ever tasted? Place your order today (for local carryout or nationwide shipping) and experience the unmatched delight of Waterman's Pride!


Photos by Lee Morton, Jay Fleming, and Jenna.