Where to Eat Houston
'Tis the season

10 amazing soft-shell crab dishes to try right now at Houston restaurants

10 amazing soft-shell crab dishes to try now at Houston restaurants

Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Potente
Sink your teeth into a crispy crab at downtown Italian eatery Potente. Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Riel
At Riel, tempura-fried crab is joined by sauteed ong choy and a tamarind vinaigrette. Courtesy photo
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Underbelly
Fried soft-shell crab is served with corn maque choux and green tomato relish at Underbelly.  Photo by Julie Soefer
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Yauatcha
 Yauatcha adds almonds and chili oil to its crispy soft-shell crab dish. Courtesy photo
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Picos
Your order comes with your choice of either two or three jumbo fried crustaceans at Pico's. Courtesy photo
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Backstreet Cafe
The seasonal salad at Backstreet Cafe features the tender delicacy with tomatoes and corn. Photo by Paula Murphy
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Coltivare
Coltivare is home to a delectable grilled crab creation. Photo by Carla Gomez
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Karaage at Kata Robata
Dig into the seafood delicacy at Upper Kirby’s Kata Robata.  Photo by Paula Murphy
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Prego
The briny beauties at Prego are pan-sauteed, then baked to perfection.  Photo by Paula Murphy
Kiran's soft shell crab
The Indian-spiced soft-shell crab at Kiran's is served with fried green tomatoes, ginger remoulade, and a green salad. Courtesy photo
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Potente
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Riel
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Underbelly
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Yauatcha
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Picos
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Backstreet Cafe
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Coltivare
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Karaage at Kata Robata
Houston, soft shell crab dishes, June 2017, Prego
Kiran's soft shell crab

If you’ve ever cracked the protective hard shell of a blue crab, working overtime to get a glorious bite of tender meat, you know the task isn’t easy. So, from around May through September, when crabs shed their tough exteriors making them entirely edible, and with ease, we get positively giddy. And so do chefs around town who are busily adding them to menus.

From grilled to traditional deep-fried, here are 10 delicious soft-shell crab dishes to check out now — while they last.

Granchio Ripieno at Potente
Sink your teeth into a crispy crab stuffed with jumbo lump crab and presented with couscous and tomatoes at downtown Italian eatery Potente. A layer of tangy salsa verge aioli on the bottom of the plate adds the finishing touch. ($29)
1515 Texas Ave.; 713-237-1515

Fried at Riel
At Riel restaurant in Montrose, tempura-fried crab is joined by sauteed ong choy (water spinach) and an over-the-top house-made tamarind vinaigrette, a deliciously-secret blend of more than 30 ingredients. ($25)
1927 Fairview St.; 832-831-9109

Grilled at Coltivare
From now through the end of the month, Coltivare in the Heights is home to a delectable grilled crab creation. It's served with fennel, tomato, shiitake mushroom, and a hit of vermouth. ($28)
3320 White Oak Dr.; 713-637-4095

Baked at Prego
Score a duo of ​romano-cornmeal crusted crabs at Rice Village’s Prego. The briny beauties, pan-sauteed and then baked to perfection, are topped with jumbo lump crab, heirloom tomatoes, grilled asparagus, and a white wine sauce. A pillowy potato-truffle ravioli comes on the side. ($40)
2520 Amherst St.; 713-529-2420

Karaage at Kata Robata
Dig into the seafood delicacy at Upper Kirby’s Kata Robata. Here, it’s lightly fried and accompanied by tempura peppers, plus a side of spicy Singapore sauce for your dipping pleasure. ($18)
3600 Kirby Dr.; 713-526-8858

Build-your-own taco at Pico’s
Get your fill of the summer staple at Pico’s restaurant, where the kitchen serves up your choice of two or three jumbo fried crustaceans, along with Mexican rice and habanero-chipotle salsa. Wrap it all up in a tortilla for an out-of-this-world bite. ($29 for two; $39 for three)
3601 Kirby Dr.; 832-831-9940

Fried at Underbelly
The mouthwatering dish at Montrose’s Underbelly boasts fried soft-shell crab, corn maque choux (a medley of corn, green bell pepper, onion, celery, and tomato), and a green tomato relish. Get yours now: This dish leaves the menu at the end of the month. ($24)
1100 Westheimer Rd.; 713-528-9800

Salad at Backstreet Cafe
Cozy River Oaks eatery Backstreet Cafe offers up a seasonal salad featuring the tender delicacy. It's perched atop a colorful mound of tomatoes and blistered corn for a delicious summer treat. ($15)
1103 S Shepherd Dr.; 713-521-2239

Pakora at Kiran’s
The soft-shell crab at upscale Indian eatery Kiran’s is coated in cornmeal and rice flour, seasoned with Indian spices, and fried until golden brown. It’s complemented by fried green tomatoes, ginger remoulade, and a green salad topped with peach-jalapeño chutney. ($22)
2925 Richmond Ave.; 713-960-8472

Fried at Yauatcha
Upscale Chinese dim sum teahouse and patisserie Yauatcha adds almonds and a spicy touch of chili oil to its crispy soft-shell crab, available year-round at the Galleria hotspot. ($15)
5045 Westheimer Rd.; 713-357-7588