A random tip came through to Eater last week: “Please send availability I have soft shell crabs.” While the body of the email was blank, the subject line was warning enough that softie season was upon the Lowcountry. A few days after that cryptic email came through, the first Charleston restaurant has announced that the crustaceans are on the menu at chef Brannon Florie’s On Forty One and Pier 41. At the latter, he serves tempura-fried soft shell crabs, with a green curry coconut sauce, charred shishito peppers, sugar snap peas, baby bok choy, boiled peanuts, and radishes.
Charleston residents and visitors go absolutely mad for softies each year, whether they be fried, pan seared, or on a sandwich with bacon, lettuce, and tomato. As the short-season delicacy makes it to local restaurant menus, we’ll put together an extensive map, along with a description of the dish. If you see a softie, send a note to email@example.com.