It's soft-shell crab season, and they'll be on menus everywhere, often abused. But at Sagami, Collingswood's venerable Japanese spot, they're simply transcendent - perfect examples of why soft-shells got to be so popular in the first place. They're doused in sake and a little soy sauce, then lightly coated with kuzu root starch, and flash-fried. The result - best spritzed with lemon - is is a crackling soft-shell, hot and feathery-crisp; the white meat sweet, tender and fluffed - the way a soft-shell was meant to be.

Soft-shells, appetizer $10 (for one with rice), dinner, (two or, if small, three with soup, salad, clear noodles and dessert), $25.50; 37 Route 130, Collingswood, 856-854-9773


- Rick Nichols