Since it was such a nice sunny day, not too cold not too hot and no overt signs of mosquitos, we really wanted to stay outside. So, we decided to grill the soft-shell crabs instead of cooking them in our usual tempura method.
I brushed the butter mixture on the top side of the crabs and started grilling with the top side down (left in the above picture). After 4-5 minutes when the skin of the crabs turned red and blackend in spots, I basted the underside with the butter mixture and turned it over and cooked another 4-5 minutes (right in the above picture).
Although my picture did not turn out and I cannot show what the final servings looked like, I precut the cooked crabs and served it with grilled asparagus (using the same basting mixture) and grilled tomato halves (skinned, salted and coated with the same butter mixture) and a wedge of lemon. As usual, I also made grilled rice balls as an ending dish with cucumber slices in vinegar dressing with "jako" 胡瓜と雑魚の酢の物.
Although grilled soft-shell crabs are not bad, the skin does not get as crispy as in tempura and we both agreed tempura is the best way to enjoy soft-shell crabs. While edible, the crabs did not entirely meet my wife's standard of freshness, so we will probably not be buying anything else from that vendor. But, at least, we were outside cooking and enjoying the food and wine al fresco.