Episode 312: Maryland Crab Feast

Grilled Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches with Charred Lemon, Tartar Sauce

Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches with Charred Lemon Tarter Sauce

Other Recipes from Episode 312: Maryland Crab Feast


Grilled Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches with Charred Lemon, Tartar Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 8 softshell crabs, cleaned
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or more as needed
  • Chesapeake seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay seasoning, for sprinkling
  • Cajun seasoning, for sprinkling

For serving:

  • 2 lemons, halved crosswise, cut sides dipped in sugar
  • 4 brioche hamburger rolls
  • 1 luscious ripe red tomato, sliced
  • 4 leaves of Swiss chard or bibb lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup Charred Lemon Tartar Sauce

Recipe Steps

1: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high on one side and medium-high on the other.. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it well.

2: Pat the softshell crabs dry with paper towels. Brush on both sides with melted butter (you’ll need about 3 tablespoons). Season generously on both sides with seafood seasoning and Cajun seasoning.

3: Lightly brush the brioche rolls on the cut sides with the remaining melted butter.

4: Arrange the softshell crabs on the hottest part of the grate and grill until sizzling and browned on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side (6 to 8 minutes total), turning each 45 degrees to get a crosshatch of grill marks; when cooked, the shells will turn orange. Grill the lemon halves, cut sides down, at the same time; they’ll take 3 to 4 minutes to caramelize.

5: Toast the buns, cut sides down, on the cooler part of the grill, about 20 seconds or so.

6: To assemble, place a Swiss chard or lettuce leaf on the bottom half of each bun. Top with a crab, then a tomato. Put a dollop of the tartar sauce on top, then replace the top of the bun. Serve with the lemon halves.

Recipe Tips

Our thanks to the sponsors of Project Fire Season 3:

Project Fire Sponsors 2021

Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2021 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein

Big Green Egg Fire Magic Grills Green Mountain Grills Shun Kaiusa Knives Kudu Grills Basques Hardwood Charcoal Blue Rhino Maverick Thermometers Rougette Bon-Fire Workman Publishing