Cooking A Crab!

I can’t believe I’ve never actually cooked a crab before. It’s one of my favourite sea foods, such a wondrous thing. I order it often in restaurants. And the one occasion every decade that my dad cooks, he cooks a hot and spicy Bengali crab curry. I even buy dressed crab now and again when I just want it plain and unadorned.

So when my friend (and recent ox cheek supplier) MarkyMarket told me about the fresh live crabs he could get his hands on, I couldn’t resist.

Mark duly turned up one fine Friday morning with an enormous live crab which had been swimming free in the sea only the afternoon before. He also kindly gave me instructions on how to store it in the fridge until the next day, how to kill it and how to cook it.

That bit was all easy enough (thankfully, spending the night in my fridge, wrapped in a teatowel, had put my crab into a virtual coma) but oh my goodness, it took me almost 2 hours (and a heck of an aching back) to get all the meat out!

That (large, deep) pasta bowl, below, shows the half way point once I’d emptied legs/ claws but before I even begun on the main body. There was so much meat in that baby, I couldn’t believe it! I only wish I’d weighed it, all the better to delight in my bounty!

I had it the first night with fresh white bread and some (rather too strong) home-made aioli (thanks Rachel, for aioli advice, I’ll get it right next time). And there was still a huge mountain of it left for the night after. Happy days.

Live crab


Cooked crab


Picking out the meat

Nothing beats the taste of fresh, local produce from land and sea! If you’ve been hesitating about tackling a crab yourself, hesitate no longer!

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3 Comments to "Cooking A Crab!"

  1. Kathleen

    I adore eating crab, too, but like you, have never prepared it. I'm somewhat cautious about purchasing it. My fave place to get it is a sea-market/fishmonger place. I know if I buy crabmeat there, it's the “real deal”. There are “fake” crabmeats and “fake” lobster meats available that are really made mostly out of a generic whitefish found in Alaska and “flavoured”. Blech! Although I have to admit, I'm not at all fond of lobster. Glad to hear your efforts yielded so much crabmeat! Hooray!

  2. The Grubworm

    It looks delicious, but i feel for you on the meat extraction front. I've done it a few times and it is a seemingly sisiphean task at times. I too have spent a could couple of hours picking every microscopic piece of meat from a big old Cornish crab. But you know something (and you probably do)? It's worth it.

  3. Kavey

    Fake crabmeat is sooo strange, not only the taste but the texture is all wrong. Blurgh!

    Aaron, the taste was fantastic, but if I can get a crab that's been cooked and dressed really recently, I'm now happy to pay more for it!


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