Nashville Hot Soft-Shell Crab Recipe

Nashville Hot Soft-Shell Crab Recipe

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Have you tried Nashville Hot Chicken yet?

I got the chance to try it last year when I was following Janette around while she was shooting Food Network’s “Guilty Pleasures”. We had some Hattie B’s in Nashville, it was delicious, but I may be biased because they hooked us all up with some pretty sweet baseball tees!

I wanted to bring the “Nashville Hot” flavor to a fried food I’m rather fond of, soft-shell crab. Usually, when you see soft-shell crab it is fried in your standard batter and thrown on a sandwich. While it’s good, there’s not a lot of “oomph” there. Since Nashville Hot chicken has so much “oomph” that both ends of your body will hurt, it seemed like a perfect match.

A fun twist on the popular "Nashville Hot Chicken", this fried Nashville Hot Soft-Shell Crab has become a spicy favorite of everyone who has tried it.

I used Hattie B’s hot chicken recipe as the basis of this Nashville Hot Soft-Shell Crab. It involves Louisiana style hot sauce (I used this one) and lots and lots of cayenne pepper for the spicy glaze.

I served the Nashville Hot Crab with the traditional accouterments: white bread and dill pickles. It was so much more delicious than we expected and I plan on making this recipe at least one more time before soft-shell crab season ends!

Fried Soft Shell Crabs glazed with "Nashville Hot" seasoning.


  • PREP TIME:15 mins
  • COOK TIME:12 mins
  • TOTAL TIME:27 mins
  • YIELD:4


  • 4 Soft-Shell Crabs, cleaned (they will usually do this where you purchase them if you ask)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Louisiana Style Hot Sauce
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • Oil, for frying (I use Canola, Vegetable also works great)
  • 1/2 Cup Lard (I used Butter Crisco), or Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Cayenne Pepper (Nashville Hot is really hot, if you want a milder version use 1 Tablespoon of Cayenne)
  • 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 4 Slices of White Bread
  • Dill Pickle Slices


  1. Preheat the oil in a deep fryer or a cast iron skillet (3 inches of oil if using skillet) to 360°.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the milk eggs and hot sauce until combined. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour and 2 tsp salt.
  3. Rinse the crabs and then pat dry. Dredge the crab in the milk mixture, then dip in the flour. Dip again in the milk mixture, then in the flour once more. Be sure to shake off the excess after each step.
  4. Fry the crabs in small batches. I do 1-2 at a time. Fry them until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the fryer and place on a baking rackover a baking sheet.
  5. To make the hot coating, melt the butter or crisco in a heat proof bowl. Add the cayenne pepper, brown sugar, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Whisk together until well combined.
  6. Baste the hot mixture over each side of the crabs. Garnish with pickles and white bread. Serve immediately.

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