Wash the crabs carefully; lift up the flap, and remove the sand-bag (stomach), gills, and intestine; dry them well, and dredge with salt and pepper. Roll in flour, and saute them in butter. Have a generous amount of butter in the frying-pan, and saute them on both sides; when done place them on a hot dish. To the butter in the frying-pan add a little lemon juice. Strain this over the crabs, and sprinkle them with parsley chopped very fine.
Soft-shell crabs may also be fried, in which case they are first dipped in milk, then covered with fine bread-crumbs, and immersed in hot fat.
They may also be broiled over a slow fire, and when done covered with maitre d'hotel sauce. The preferable way of cooking them is by the method first given.