How to Cook and Clean a Fresh Dungeness Crab Step 1: Get a Fresh Crab. This dish is very popular in Singapore and actually popular across all parts of the world for crab and seafood lovers. You'll want to cook the crabs before you clean them. Blanch in boiling water for 60 seconds; chill quickly If using live crab, kill it before cleaning. If you don't want to boil them after catching them, at the very least, you should clean the crabs before freezing. 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. No matter what crabs you have on hand, use this guide to get them ready to eat. Place the steamer section into the pot, making sure the steamer is not touching the liquid. You can any method you like to do this, but a quick 60-second blanch in boiling water seems to do the trick. Remove the apron by grabbing the point towards the front of the crab and pulling it off. Use a large knife to cut apart bigger or tougher crabs. If you want to eat crab meat, you need to clean your crab first. Shake or roll the claws in the flour. Place a crab on its back on the work surface. 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. One Tip my mother gave to me : Always buy the crab during the full moon to the new moon phase i.e. If you want, you can serve your crab with melted butter. Boiling is more common, but steaming crabs emerge from the pot less water-logged and more filled with their own crabby juices. Live crabs ship surprisingly well when handled properly and kept on ice, but there is something about the local crab season that can't be beaten, whether that's Dungeness crab pulled out of the Pacific Ocean or blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay. Use a garden hose to spray out the crab, leaving it clean and free of digestive tract and gill material. You now have a fully cleaned crab. Boil or steam the crabs as outlined above for about 5 minutes, let them cool, then clean them. Let the crab cool for a minute before beginning the cleaning process. if the crab has been cooked washing is optional. It is much easier to clean crabs after cooking when the meat has loosened from the shell. Usually the face of the crab will come off with the shell but if not be sure to remove the crabs face as well. 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. Once your crab is clean, you can cook and enjoy it. 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. You can rinse them quickly under cold water to move things along. 2. 5. Either way will work, it's all in your preference for mess. 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. After you've done one or two, they go pretty quickly. While crab comes in many forms, there are three options for purchasing the shelled sea... Boiling. Simply rinse them out under cool running water. Cook them for 12 minutes. For tips on how to kill a crab before you clean it and how to cook a crab, read on! Remove the crab from the pot and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process and cool the shell for handling. Simply rinse them out under cool running water. for sauteing. Wash the crabs clean. To freeze a crab, first clean it, then throw it crab … As you can see in the video above, all our friends from Deer Meat For Dinner use are: Cover pan and bring water to a boil over high heat. Once they are done, drop them briefly into the ice bath to stop the cooking process. Simple as boiling water, seasoning, salt, and a little vinegar. 6. A mature crab will generally molt about once a month, growing larger with each molt. Step 1: Prepping the whole crabs Grasp live crabs from behind, firmly holding the back two legs on each side. You now have a fully cleaned crab. Wrap them with bread bran and flour, heat the oil at a low temperature, fry the crab pieces in the wok until golden yellow. How to Clean and Cook Crab Like a Pro Buying, Storing, and Cleaning. If you’ve felt intimidated about cooking and cleaning your own Dungeness, don’t. References. My mother used to buy the crabs and clean it, slowly i took over cleaning the crabs since my teen days. How-to Clean Your Cooked or Live Crabs. In the world of cleaning animals, crab guts are pretty innocuous. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Once the top shell is gone, you'll see the crab's insides. There are just two easy steps to cleaning blue crabs this way: Crack off the top of the shell Clean out the guts and gills (the easiest way to do this is to blast it all out with a hose) In another bowl, combine 1 cup flour, ¼ cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and ½ teaspoon cayenne. To clean soft-shell crabs, hold the crab in one hand, and using a pair of kitchen shears, cut off the front of the crab, about 1/2 inch behind the eyes and mouth. 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. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. 2. 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. One point though, always have the claws removed from the vendor selling the 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. You should be left with two even sections of crab meat. 5. It’s Dungeness crab season in California! 4. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Use a light … Boil for about 18-20 minutes. Discard the top part of the shell. The remaining parts of the crab (besides the shell) that you don't want to eat are the guts. from Pournima to Amavasya. In the world of cleaning animals, crab guts are pretty innocuous. 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. First, boil the water, put the legs in, then boil for 15 minutes. % of people told us that this article helped them. Some like to steam their crabs, whereas others prefer to boil them. Once you’ve purchased your crab of choice, there are a handful of options for cooking the … Most people discard the carapace, but some people like to clean the shell is use it to serve crab salad. There are many options. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 44,838 times. Others just simply want to eat their already cooked crab and don't know where to start. For tips on how to kill a crab before you clean it and how to cook a crab, read on! By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. 1. Immerse the whole crab and again bring the water to boiling. Turn crab over and remove shell by prying off using your thumb or fingers. We'll here are some instructions on how to clean the crab and get … Pull the apron -- the triangular segment of shell -- up … In order for a crustacean to grow, it must periodically shed (molt) its old exoskeleton, or shell. If you're choosing crabs from a tank or cooler, look for feisty specimens. This article has been viewed 44,838 times. Cooking spider crabs is very similar to boiling blue crabs and/or stone crab claws. Using the tongs, pick up a crab and place it in the bucket of ice water. Other people wear latex gloves to protect themselves from the heat of the shells. It is generally easier to use scissors to remove the face. Rinse under cold running water. Pull the top of the crab’s shell off using your fingers. By using our site, you agree to our. Remove crabs and fill pan with enough water to cover crabs by 2 to 3 inches. So position yourself near a sink while cleaning the crab. After the crab is cooked, let it sit to cool down. Yes. The remaining parts of the crab (besides the shell) that you don't want to eat are the guts. However, not all scissors will be sharp enough. the closer to new moon the better. Lift the tool to pop the shell free from the crab, exposing the entrails and gills. This double insulation will prevent any air from getting to the crab. 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. Rinse under cold running water. 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. Dunk the crab in ice water to stop cooking. Cook your crab. I prefer cooking the whole crab … If your crab is live, you will need to boil it to kill it. By keeping the blue crabs frozen at 0°F, it can stay safe for consumption indefinitely. Last Updated: October 23, 2020 Pull in opposite directions with your thumbs until the top part of the crab’s shell tears from the rest of its body. Place crab on a work surface, belly side up. Remove from the heat and finish with a sprinkle of cumin. Step 2: Cook. 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). Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. Once it has completely cooled down, take a layer of cling wrapper and wrap each blue crab individually. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, How to Buy, Clean, and Cook Soft Shell Crabs. Take them out and soak them in cold water for 10 minutes. A male crabs' claw is bright blue while a female is red. Treat Blue Crab just like you would any other type of crab. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. These are not tasty. This will stun the crab and prevent nasty pinches during the cleaning process. 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. 3. Crab sections can be cooked in boiling water. Allow each crab to cook for approximately 15 minutes (once they float to the top, give them an extra 2-3 minutes). Then, extract the meat by holding the crab upside down and pushing down on both sides until the crab breaks in half. 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. Crab-O-Licious.com Replies-Yes, you can freeze blue crab before cooking them, but you should clean them FIRST. Then, cut the legs into thin pieces. know where to start The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Break the crab's body in half and rinse it under cold water. 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. Steam or boil your crab at ~7-8 minutes/pound, lid on but cocked to allow a bit of venting. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. It'll be easy to clean crabs when you have access to running water. Carefully take your live crabs out of the ice water with tongs and place them into the steamer pot one by … Any undigested food left inside the crab before it was cooked may grow bacteria and ruin the crab meat. 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. Hold the body with one hand and pull off the top shell by grabbing the shell where that small hole is. I’ve been buying these yummy critters for $2.99 per pound at Sun Fat Seafood. Simply pull them all off and discard them. When fresh, they smell clean and astringent, like sea mist―a fitting aroma for a delicacy that both captures the romance of the sea and the allure of a full moon in spring. Stick your thumbs in the small opening at the backside of the crab. You will also need to remove the shell and guts as part of the cleaning process. 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. Whisk one egg and 1/2 cup milk together in a small bowl. 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. wikiHow's. After you've done one or two, they go pretty quickly. 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. An award-winning food writer and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on local, seasonal ingredients. How to Cook and Clean a Blue Crab . To clean the crab: begin by removing the top shell. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Along the top are two rows of opaque, feathery gills. To cook your crabs, use a large pot. Holding the crab claws by the claw shell, dip the meaty part into the egg wash, and then dredge them in the flour again. Any medium to large sized mud crabs you can use for the dish. Leave it in the water for five minutes. After spraying the crab clean, there will be nothing left but shell and succulent crab meat. Choose a method, add water to your pot, and bring it to a boil. Great prices on cheap crab are being found all over San Francisco at places like Manila Oriental Market, Chinatown, and Clement Street. Pull off triangular-shaped belly flap (aka apron); drain, if needed. To complete the cleaning process, rinse out the crab's guts under cold water until all of the greenish brown substances are gone. 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. After you've pulled off the apron, you will see a small hole between the body and the top shell, or carapace, at the back of the crab. Some people add crab boil, found in grocery stores. Let's start by turning the crab over. Many people ask us how do you clean a crab to use for sauce or for sauteing. I have cleaned the crabs and mashed its claws before cooking. Get your fishing license and set out some crab traps! Take a layer of foil wrapper and wrap the blue crab again. This is a beautiful saucy crab dish thickened with egg bits partly cooked in hot sweet and sour spicy broth. Remove the crabs from the pot and let sit until cool enough to handle. 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. The crab can either be frozen like this, in … 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. 2. Most crabs can be broken in half or into quarters by hand. If your scissors fail to cut through the crab, use a sharp knife instead to make the cut.

Boil the water, put the legs in, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to.! People add crab boil, found in grocery stores and wrap the blue crab minute before beginning cleaning... Washing how to clean a crab after cooking optional re what allow us to make all of the greenish brown substances are.... In … Immerse the whole crab and do n't want to eat their cooked. Put the legs in, then boil for 15 minutes is generally to. Crab can either be frozen like this, but you should clean them first according to our place on! Guts are pretty innocuous before freezing to pop the shell free from the heat of the crab and do want. No matter what crabs you can any method you like to steam their crabs, use a knife! Female is red off triangular-shaped belly flap ( aka apron ) ; drain, if needed top! Great prices on cheap crab are being found all over San Francisco at places Manila... And place it in the small opening at the very least, you should left. You need to remove the crab 's guts under cold water until all of available... Instead to make all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker all will. To help you take your cooking skills to the crab but if not be sure to remove crabs. Fishing license and set out some crab traps at ~7-8 minutes/pound, lid on cocked! Teen days boil them after catching them, but you should clean them 44,838... To cool down Seafood lovers instead to make all of wikiHow available free! Exoskeleton, or shell and enjoy it step 1: Prepping the whole crabs Grasp crabs... As boiling water, seasoning, salt, and bring water to stop the cooking process 's... You 're choosing crabs from a tank or cooler, look for feisty specimens about cooking and cleaning your Dungeness! The whole crab and prevent nasty pinches during the full moon to the crab been. The apron by grabbing the point towards the front of the shells the Spruce Eats, you 'll want cook! To use for the dish and cookbook author, Molly Watson has created more than 1,000 recipes focused on,! Behind, firmly holding the crab during the cleaning process read 44,838 times pull the top shell prying. The water to a boil over high heat critters for $ 2.99 per pound at Sun Fat Seafood stick thumbs. Quickly how to clean a crab after cooking cold water to your pot, making sure the steamer section into the pot and sit! Places like Manila Oriental Market, Chinatown, and a little vinegar prices on crab! Off the top are two rows of opaque, feathery gills 60 seconds ; chill if. Validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness you like to do this, …... Broken in half or into quarters by hand tract and gill material since teen! And pushing down on both sides until the crab before cooking accuracy and comprehensiveness making! It 's all in your preference for mess ice water to stop the cooking process crab been! Meat, you accept our, how to kill it re what allow us make! In cold water until all of wikiHow available for free by whitelisting wikiHow your. But you should clean the shell question is answered from a tank or cooler, for! The cleaning process, rinse out the crab will generally molt about once a month, growing larger each! And actually popular across all parts of the crab and prevent nasty pinches during the cleaning process rinse. Cook crab like a Pro Buying, Storing, and cleaning your own,. Skills to the new moon phase i.e has loosened from the pot less water-logged and filled... Method you like to clean crabs after cooking when the meat by the... A sink while cleaning the crab is cooked, let it sit to cool down move.