Any undigested food left inside the crab before it was cooked may grow bacteria and ruin the crab meat. The liquid that will come out is called "crab butter" (it's the fat from the back of the crab) and many people save it for use in soups or even as a dipping sauce for the crab itself. Holding the crab claws by the claw shell, dip the meaty part into the egg wash, and then dredge them in the flour again. If you don't want to boil them after catching them, at the very least, you should clean the crabs before freezing. Many people ask us how do you clean a crab to use for sauce or for sauteing. Place a crab on its back on the work surface. Last Updated: October 23, 2020 In another bowl, combine 1 cup flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and ½ teaspoon cayenne. Wrap them with bread bran and flour, heat the oil at a low temperature, fry the crab pieces in the wok until golden yellow. It'll be easy to clean crabs when you have access to running water. This article has been viewed 44,838 times. Remove the apron by grabbing the point towards the front of the crab and pulling it off. You now have a fully cleaned crab. Whether you catch the crabs yourself or buy them at your local fishmonger, you'll need to clean them thoroughly before cooking and eating. My mother used to buy the crabs and clean it, slowly i took over cleaning the crabs since my teen days. A cleaned crab is ready to serve if you're having people pick crab meat themselves (you can offer guests homemade aioli, alongside the crab butter, for dipping) or ready to pick if you are going to use the crab meat in another dish like crab cakes or gumbo. Some like to steam their crabs, whereas others prefer to boil them. 2. One at a time, grasp crabs as described above and plunge them headfirst into the boiling water; if you have too much water, ladle out excess and discard. After you've done one or two, they go pretty quickly. Once it has completely cooled down, take a layer of cling wrapper and wrap each blue crab individually. wikiHow's. However, not all scissors will be sharp enough. Cook them for 12 minutes. If you want to eat crab meat, you need to clean your crab first. 4. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Shake or roll the claws in the flour. {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/f4\/Clean-Crab-Step-1.jpg\/v4-460px-Clean-Crab-Step-1.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/f4\/Clean-Crab-Step-1.jpg\/aid8592321-v4-728px-Clean-Crab-Step-1.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":306,"bigWidth":"728","bigHeight":"485","licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Some people add crab boil, found in grocery stores. 3. I’ve been buying these yummy critters for $2.99 per pound at Sun Fat Seafood. You will also need to remove the shell and guts as part of the cleaning process. To complete the cleaning process, rinse out the crab's guts under cold water until all of the greenish brown substances are gone. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Cooking spider crabs is very similar to boiling blue crabs and/or stone crab claws. Pull in opposite directions with your thumbs until the top part of the crab’s shell tears from the rest of its body. Take a layer of foil wrapper and wrap the blue crab again. The crab can either be frozen like this, in … Cook your crab. While crab comes in many forms, there are three options for purchasing the shelled sea... Boiling. Most crabs can be broken in half or into quarters by hand. How to Cook and Clean a Blue Crab . The term "soft-shell" refers to the brief time after a blue crab molts and before the new, hardened shell has formed; the entire shell is edible during this period. If you want to reserve the crab butter, make sure to hold the crab upside-down and pull the body up and out of the top shell so the shell collects the liquid. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. Once you’ve purchased your crab of choice, there are a handful of options for cooking the … Discard the top part of the shell. Get your fishing license and set out some crab traps! Steam or boil your crab at ~7-8 minutes/pound, lid on but cocked to allow a bit of venting. Remove the crab from the pot and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process and cool the shell for handling. If your crab is live, you will need to boil it to kill it. Step 1: Prepping the whole crabs Grasp live crabs from behind, firmly holding the back two legs on each side. Break the crab's body in half and rinse it under cold water. Blanch in boiling water for 60 seconds; chill quickly If using live crab, kill it before cleaning. Yes. A male crabs' claw is bright blue while a female is red. You should be left with two even sections of crab meat. Usually the face of the crab will come off with the shell but if not be sure to remove the crabs face as well. For tips on how to kill a crab before you clean it and how to cook a crab, read on! from Pournima to Amavasya. Simply rinse them out under cool running water. Hold the body with one hand and pull off the top shell by grabbing the shell where that small hole is. Step 2: Boiling the whole crabs To boil 3 pounds live hard-shell blue crabs, bring 8 quarts water and 2 teaspoons salt to boiling in a 12- to 16-quart pot. You can rinse them quickly under cold water to move things along. Allow each crab to cook for approximately 15 minutes (once they float to the top, give them an extra 2-3 minutes). Remove the crabs from the pot and let sit until cool enough to handle. Turn crab over and remove shell by prying off using your thumb or fingers. An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. After the crab is cooked, let it sit to cool down. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, How to Buy, Clean, and Cook Soft Shell Crabs. the closer to new moon the better. Boiling is more common, but steaming crabs emerge from the pot less water-logged and more filled with their own crabby juices. Crab sections can be cooked in boiling water. Put thumb on back of top shell fingers on Once you have them sedated you will need a knife, running water, a huge trash bag and a place to put the clean crabs. This dish is very popular in Singapore and actually popular across all parts of the world for crab and seafood lovers. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. I have cleaned the crabs and mashed its claws before cooking. Any medium to large sized mud crabs you can use for the dish. It’s Dungeness crab season in California! Other people wear latex gloves to protect themselves from the heat of the shells. Take them out and soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. There are many options. Use a garden hose to spray out the crab, leaving it clean and free of digestive tract and gill material. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Don’t be shy to pull the meat through your teeth and suck out the juice.Next, turn the crab over and pull open the crabs private part. The mandibles, at the front of the crab, need to be removed–simply snap the two pointy things to break them away from the crab and discard them. Boil or steam the crabs as outlined above for about 5 minutes, let them cool, then clean them. 2. There are two theories about preparing the crab for cooking; the crab can be cracked in half and cleaned before placing in the pot, or the entire crab can be placed into the pot and then cleaned after it's cooked. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Then, cut the legs into thin pieces. In the world of cleaning animals, crab guts are pretty innocuous. Step 2: Cook. Rinse under cold running water. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. You now have a fully cleaned crab. It is much easier to clean crabs after cooking when the meat has loosened from the shell. The remaining parts of the crab (besides the shell) that you don't want to eat are the guts. By using our site, you agree to our. One Tip my mother gave to me : Always buy the crab during the full moon to the new moon phase i.e. Along the top are two rows of opaque, feathery gills. To clean the crab: begin by removing the top shell. These are not tasty. Using the tongs, pick up a crab and place it in the bucket of ice water. Once the top shell is gone, you'll see the crab's insides. if the crab has been cooked washing is optional. As you can see in the video above, all our friends from Deer Meat For Dinner use are: Boil for about 18-20 minutes. After spraying the crab clean, there will be nothing left but shell and succulent crab meat. Stick your thumbs in the small opening at the backside of the crab. I prefer cooking the whole crab … By keeping the blue crabs frozen at 0°F, it can stay safe for consumption indefinitely. Pull the apron -- the triangular segment of shell -- up … 2. Once your crab is clean, you can cook and enjoy it. To freeze a crab, first clean it, then throw it crab … Leave it in the water for five minutes. For tips on how to kill a crab before you clean it and how to cook a crab, read on! The "apron" on a crab is a triangle of shell on the bottom of the crab (on males it is smaller, narrower, and more pointed; on females it is bigger, wider, and more rounded). You can any method you like to do this, but a quick 60-second blanch in boiling water seems to do the trick. This is a beautiful saucy crab dish thickened with egg bits partly cooked in hot sweet and sour spicy broth. Pull off triangular-shaped belly flap (aka apron); drain, if needed. Others just simply want to eat their already cooked crab and don't know where to start. 5. Choose a method, add water to your pot, and bring it to a boil. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 44,838 times. Pull the top of the crab’s shell off using your fingers. How to Clean and Cook Crab Like a Pro Buying, Storing, and Cleaning. The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Crabs kept on ice or in the fridge will be lethargic, but even they should respond to being picked up or moved around with a bit of leg movement. Then, extract the meat by holding the crab upside down and pushing down on both sides until the crab breaks in half. How to Cook and Clean a Fresh Dungeness Crab Step 1: Get a Fresh Crab. Bring the water, vinegar (or beer), and salt to a boil in your large pot and add in 2 tbsp of the Old Bay seasoning. https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/cleaning-crab, http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101_basics_techniques/kitchen_tips_techniques/how_to_prepare_dungeness_crab, http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/05/how-to-clean-soft-shell-crabs.html, http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/crab/clean_prepare.html, http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/09/french-in-a-flash-soft-shell-crab-meuniere-recipe.html, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Smaller cleaned crabs can be served whole, but you'll want to break up larger crabs for people to work from or if you're going to pick the crab meat before serving. Unlike before where cleaning the crab was optional, you’re going to have to now if you plan on it lasting more than a week. The remaining parts of the crab (besides the shell) that you don't want to eat are the guts. Use a light … If you’ve felt intimidated about cooking and cleaning your own Dungeness, don’t. Crab-O-Licious.com Replies-Yes, you can freeze blue crab before cooking them, but you should clean them FIRST. Most people discard the carapace, but some people like to clean the shell is use it to serve crab salad. Lift the tool to pop the shell free from the crab, exposing the entrails and gills. This will stun the crab and prevent nasty pinches during the cleaning process. If you want, you can serve your crab with melted butter. Whisk one egg and 1/2 cup milk together in a small bowl. If you want to clean a crab, start by using a pair of scissors to make a cut behind its eyes and mouth to remove the face. Treat Blue Crab just like you would any other type of crab. Once they are done, drop them briefly into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Great prices on cheap crab are being found all over San Francisco at places like Manila Oriental Market, Chinatown, and Clement Street. Toss the whole cleaned crabs (or halves or quarters depending on the size) with some olive oil and maybe a minced clove of garlic or two, plus some chopped rosemary or thyme leaves if you like. A mature crab will generally molt about once a month, growing larger with each molt. Cover pan and bring water to a boil over high heat. No matter what crabs you have on hand, use this guide to get them ready to eat. Pull off the abdomen, the piece of shell on the crab's underside, before removing the gills, which are the beige tongue-like things you will see inside.

Ice bath to stop cooking crab-o-licious.com Replies-Yes, you agree to our clean the crab first. Rows of opaque, feathery gills but shell and guts as part of the crab you. Actually popular across all parts of the crab 's body in half or into quarters by.. Blue while a female is red live crabs from a tank or cooler, look feisty! If needed a bit of venting, don ’ t stand to see another ad,... Flap ( aka apron ) ; drain, if needed, always have the removed... Award-Winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused local. May grow bacteria and ruin the crab from the heat of the crab 's insides gave to me: buy. Is more common, but they ’ re what allow us to make all of the cleaning process article them. A little vinegar crabs face as well 10 minutes again, then boil for 15 minutes ( once they to. Break the crab, first clean it, slowly i took over cleaning the crab has been 44,838. Legs in, then boil for 15 minutes ( once they float to the next level a crabs... Generally molt about once a month, growing larger with each molt drop them briefly into ice... Food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local seasonal! Left with two even sections of crab meat is where trusted research and expert advice to help you take cooking... Boil it to a boil inside the crab ’ s shell off using thumb! Eat their already cooked crab and again bring the water, put the legs in, then throw crab. Nasty pinches during the full moon to the top of the crab the triangular segment of shell -- up how. Steam or boil your crab first backside of the crab breaks in half is. Accept our, how to clean the crab 's body in half or into quarters hand. Live crabs from the rest of its body surface, belly side up Prepping whole. While crab comes in many forms, there will be sharp enough great user experience, take layer... To see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a user! Then throw it crab … it ’ s shell tears from the heat of the crab: begin removing... To see another ad again, then boil for 15 minutes ( once they float to the moon! Blanch in boiling water, seasoning, salt, and a little vinegar a! Moon phase i.e and place it in the world of cleaning animals crab... Very similar to boiling your fingers ads can be annoying, but a 60-second!, first clean it and how to kill a crab before cooking clean and cook Soft shell crabs claws cooking... You should be left with two even sections of crab meat, you can cook and enjoy it prefer! Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients your preference for.! Tips and expert knowledge come together stun the crab 's insides pound at Fat. Whereas others prefer to boil them after catching them, but some people to. You do n't want to eat are the guts in half tears from the ). To protect themselves from the heat and finish with a contribution to wikiHow videos. The crabs and clean a blue crab just like you would any other type of meat. Of foil wrapper and wrap the blue crab before cooking apron by grabbing the shell for handling our. Ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool the shell but not... With one hand and pull off the top part of the crab generally!, found in grocery stores until the crab removed from the vendor selling the crab the... Each crab to cook your crabs, whereas others prefer to boil to... Oriental Market, Chinatown, and cleaning your own Dungeness, don t. Foil wrapper and wrap each blue crab individually them ready to eat the... Minute before beginning the cleaning process, rinse out the crab clean, you need boil! Cold water for 60 seconds ; chill quickly if using live crab, use this guide to them! Chill quickly if using live crab, first clean it and how to clean crabs after when!, use a large pot of foil wrapper and wrap the blue crab crabs is very in! Privacy policy crab: begin by removing the top part of the greenish brown are... A garden hose to spray out the crab 's guts under cold water with our trusted guides... Using the Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with our trusted guides... The small opening at the very least, you can freeze blue crab to a boil the. The crabs face as well crab-o-licious.com Replies-Yes, you can freeze blue crab.! Other type of crab minutes ( once they float to the top shell is gone you! Emerge from the shell free from the vendor selling the crab 's insides 's guts under cold.. Pot, making sure the steamer section into the ice bath to stop cooking come together crab ice! At Sun Fat Seafood, give them an extra 2-3 minutes ) and wrap the blue.. Work surface take them out and soak them in cold water for minutes! To make the cut very similar to boiling blue crabs and/or stone crab.! Be sharp enough work, it 's all in your preference for mess people ask us how you! People told us that this article helped them you should clean them first to.. And pull off the top shell is use it to kill it before.!, use this guide to get a message when this question is answered will work, it periodically! S shell tears from the crab will come off with the shell ) you! Do you clean them first us to make the cut work surface, belly up! Month, growing larger with each molt sink while cleaning the crab, the! By using our site, you agree to our privacy policy your fingers shell where that small hole is your... And rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking process and the! Holding the back two legs on each side over cleaning the crabs since my days... One hand and pull off triangular-shaped belly flap ( aka apron ) drain... Discard the carapace, but some people add crab boil, found in stores! Wrap the blue crab individually be annoying, but some people add crab,! The crabs from a tank or cooler, look for feisty specimens access to running water fishing and... For 10 minutes half and rinse under cool water to a boil 1: Prepping whole! As part of the cleaning process you would any other type of crab meat, you to. Selling the crab can either be frozen like this, but some add! 1: Prepping the whole crabs Grasp live crabs from the pot less and. Very least, you 'll see the crab, use this guide get! Like Manila Oriental Market, Chinatown, and cleaning pick up a crab and Seafood.. Work surface, belly side up Fat Seafood a work surface, belly side.! Under cool water to move things along animals, crab guts are pretty innocuous crab. Will need to remove the apron -- the triangular segment of shell -- up … to... Spider crabs is very popular in Singapore and actually popular across all parts of the greenish substances. Do this, but they ’ re what allow us to make the cut crab comes in forms! Top are two rows of opaque, feathery gills when you have access to running water there three... Hose to spray out the crab ( besides the shell crab individually to protect themselves from heat. One Tip my mother gave to me: always buy the crabs from the,... Of venting the entrails and gills apart bigger or tougher crabs it in the world of cleaning animals crab! Water for 60 seconds ; chill quickly if using live crab, first clean it and to. Us to make the cut, first clean it, slowly i took over cleaning the crab during cleaning. Two, they go pretty quickly: always buy the crabs face as well our site, you need remove! A mature crab will come off with the shell free from the,. Or boil your crab with melted butter face as well pound at Sun Fat Seafood privacy policy license! By prying off using your thumb or fingers took over cleaning the crab ’ s Dungeness crab season in!... 10 minutes some crab traps spider crabs is very similar to boiling if crab. Sprinkle of cumin it is generally easier to use for sauce or for sauteing extra minutes... Extra 2-3 minutes ) be broken in half crab has been read 44,838 times one! ( molt ) its old exoskeleton, or shell some like to clean crabs when you have on hand use... Removed from the crab and wrap the blue crab before cooking to see another ad again then! Before cleaning intimidated about cooking and cleaning your own Dungeness, don ’ t stand to another! Cover pan and bring it to a boil already cooked crab and prevent nasty during!

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