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How to Prepare Crabs

Author David
Posted On 29th October 2012


Fresh crab is healthy, delicious and reasonably priced but can be intimidating to prepare.

However once you have demystified the process you will find a number of interesting recipes for which you can use your fresh crab.

1. Live crabs provide the freshest meat but they must be humanely killed before cooking. Place the crab belly up on a board. Using a large chef’s knife, plunge it straight down into the crab’s head, between or just below the eyes.

2. Cook the crab in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes per 450g of weight.

3. The crab can be served whole with tools for diners to use themselves or the cooked meat can be used in recipes. Place the crab on a board, belly up and twist off the legs and claws. Lift off and dispose of the ‘apron’ (the tail), which is long and pointed in a male and short and broad in a female.

4. Pull the body out of the shell and remove and dispose of the feathery gills and grey stomach sac. Cut the body into pieces and pick out the meat using your fingers, a crab pick or a small knife. Scrape the brown meat from the shell but keep it separate from the white meat. Also remove and separate the roe, if there is any.

5. Crack the claws with the back of a large knife and pull out the meat in a single piece or large chunks.

6. Cut through each side of the leg shells with scissors. Pull away the shell halves to expose and remove the meat.