Memorial Day is the beginning of season for sweet, briny soft-shell crabs and, as always, plenty of New York restaurants already have them on their menus. This year, chefs are mixing things up: There’s a ramen-flavored soft-shell crab sandwich at Toro, tempura soft-shell crab with pimento cheese at Momofuku Ssäm Bar, and a curry dish at Uncle Boons. We’ve rounded up some great seasonal specials that you will certainly want to try before they disappear.
The Thai Puu Pad Pong Karee dish combines soft-shell crab with yellow curry, garlic, and Chinese celery. The perfect accompaniment to a beer slushie.
A ramen-flavored soft-shell crab sandwich actually exists: The fish is dusted in cornmeal, fried, and then glazed in a sweet and spicy chili-and-black-pepper sauce. The sandwich is then topped off with mayo, crumbled crunchy ramen noodles, and gem lettuce — all on a Martin’s potato roll.
Chef Chris Cipollone fries soft-shell crabs and serves them with fiddlehead ferns, frisée, treviso, cherry-pepper relish, and aïoli.
You can count on this seafood restaurant to nail soft-shell crab: Mike Price serves it with Dijon mustard vinaigrette and a seasonal salad of radishes, asparagus, frisée, pickled onions, and chives.
The soft-shell “crabwich,” with tomato, okra remoulade, and fries, is only available at lunchtime, but it is perfect for Summer Fridays.
This new restaurant in the former Hurricane Club space serves a play on a classic Louie salad with flash-fried crab, spring asparagus, and a green goddess dressing.
In Brooklyn Heights, you’ll find a togarashi-fried soft-shell crab sandwich with tomato-jam chimichurri and a healthy heaping of grilled broccoli rabe.
Momofuku Ssäm Bar
At dinnertime only, there’s a tempura soft-shell crab with pimento cheese, green tomato, and sesame seeds on the menu — a Southern riff full of ingredients that basically everyone loves.
This classy new uptown restaurant offers a super-seasonal salad with soft-shell crab and spring peas.
Cull & Pistol
The Chelsea Market seafood restaurant offers a BLT-style soft-shell crab sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickled ramps, and smoked aïoli. Even if you’re the kind of person who has ramp ennui, you need to get this.