The first time I ate a soft-shell crab was in a diner on the Chesapeake Bay. It was deep-fried and served in a hamburger bun with lettuce and tartar sauce. It was wonderful, but I crave a sandwich with a little more finesse. This version, served open-faced on toasted bread with lettuce, tomato and aioli, is a bit more dressed-up--a sandwich for a summer evening or an elegant lunch.
Remember that a soft-shell crab has no hard shell to crack, so there’s no need to dig out the sweet and tender meat. Just eat the whole thing, no fuss, no muss. Serve these sandwiches with some quickly steamed corn on the cob and fresh fruit.